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Full text of "Chambers's repository of instructive and amusing tracts"

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WILLIAM and ROBERT CHAMBERS 



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CONTENTS. 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM, 

STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD, 

MATHILDE *. A TALE, 

LACE AND LACEMAKING, 

HISTORY OF THE MORMONS, 

THE ROCK REPUBLIC : A TALE, 

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES, 

SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED, 

LIBERIA, ..... 

LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA, 

THE BASKET OF CHERRIES : A TALE, 

CHIVALRY AMONG THE ARABS, 

THE OCEAN, 

THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER : A TALE, 
TWO DAYS ON THE WELSH BORDER, 
SPIRIT OF THE ORLANDO FURIOSO, 

VOL. IV. 



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EDINBURGH ! 
PRINTED BY W. AND R. CHAMBERS, 

1854. 



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CHAMBERS'S 

REPOSITORY. 




j u.cottncK se. 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 



ELGIUM is that portion of the Netherlands 
lying- on the south-west of the lower branches 
of the Rhine, as Holland lies on the north-east, 
"and consists of the provinces of Brabant, Antwerp, 
East and West Flanders, Hainault, Namur, and 
Liege. ^ These unitedly form a compact country, 
now a distinct kingdom, with about four millions of 
inhabitants. The political history of the country (the 
province of Liege excepted) is nearly the same as that 
the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until the 
epoch of Dutch independence in 1579. The southern provinces 
49 l i 




A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

were less successful in freeing* themselves from the Spanish yoke, 
and hence their period of national freedom has been postponed to a 
much later date. In 1714, they were ceded by Philip III. of Spain 
to his daughter Isabella, when she espoused Albert, Archduke of 
Austria, by which change of masters they became known as the 
Austrian Netherlands. In 1795, they were united with France, 
and continued under its dominion till 1814, when they were 
attached to the northern provinces, to compose the kingdom of the 
Netherlands. Their separation in 1830, to form the Belgian 
monarchy, and to depend, for the first time, on their own united 
resources, is known to every one. More French in character and 
language than the Dutch, and almost entirely Roman Catholic in 
their religious profession, the Belgians differ in various respects 
from their neighbours in Holland; they are, however, not less 
distinguished by their industry and love of order, and have 
attained a considerably higher taste for art. 

Travellers from England usually approach Belgium by way 
of Ostend, to which port steamers ply from London and Dover. 
Some prefer entering the country by the Scheldt to Antwerp; 
and others, less inclined to a sea- voyage, take the route by Dover 
to Calais, and thence by railway across the frontier at Lille. The 
visit to Belgium which it is now proposed to describe, was made 
by way of Ostend, which was reached after an agreeable voyage 
of about four hours from Dover. 

In approaching the country in this direction, the eye has at first 
little to exercise itself upon. The coast, consisting of sandy knolls 
or downs, is barren and monotonous, and little is seen of Ostend 
from the sea except the tops of the walls and a few bathing-houses 
on the shore. On our arrival, a few minutes served for the 
douaniers to make their examinations of baggage, and for the 
police to inspect passports, after which our party were at liberty to 
proceed to their hotel. Here we remained half a day, which was 
fully sufficient for all purposes of curiosity. The town has really 
nothing to recommend it. It occupies a low and confined situation 
within high walls, and is generally ill paved and worse drained. 
The streets are built in straight lines, with a modern aspect, the 
town, indeed, being almost wholly constructed anew since its 
destruction during- the wars of Louis XIV. Latterly, the port has 
increased in its traffic. We found the harbour full of shipping, and 
the daily arrival and departure of steamers appeared to bring a 
concourse of tourists to the place. This concentration of traffic 
has been greatly promoted by the opening of the line of railway 
to Brussels and' the Rhine. 

A run by railway of less than an hour brought us to Bruges, a 
town of an entirely different character from Ostend ; for it bears 
marks of high antiquity, and is exceedingly picturesque in 
architectural forms and decorations. The streets are neat, clean, 
and dull, as if demonstrative of the little business which now 
prevails in this old mart of Flemish trade. The place is chiefly 

2 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

known in the present day for its retired character, and its suit- 
ableness as a place of living* for those English who wish to make 
slender incomes go a great way in housekeeping. From the 
levelness of the surrounding region, and its many sluggish water- 
courses, we should apprehend that the air was humid, and it is 
said to be exceedingly cold in winter : this latter quality, however, 
is common to the climate of Belgium generally. In Bruges, the 
peculiar costume of the females, consisting of long dark cloaks 
with hoods — a relic of Spanish usages — will be seen for the first 
time by tourists. 

The Belgian towns are so near each other, that, since their 
connection by railway, several of them may be seen in a day. 
Quitting Bruges, our next town, speedily reached, was Ghent, 
where there is not a little to interest strangers. In approaching 
Ghent, the country appears to be thickly studded with villages, 
and we pass different walled-towns and localities celebrated in the 
wars of Marlborough. Ghent occupies a favourable situation for 
commerce, in the midst of the richest and most beautiful part of 
Flanders, on the banks of the Scheldt, Lis, and Lieve, which here 
unite, and, with their innumerable ramifications in the form of deep 
canals, pass through the town. The appearance of Ghent is very 
much like that of the Dutch towns, in which the walls of long rows 
of houses seem to grow out of the water ; and hence, however well 
adapted the town may be for trade, I cannot conceive it to be 
suitable as a place of residence for persons accustomed to a dry 
climate. I believe it has upwards of a hundred bridges. 

Ghent is the ancient capital of Flanders ; and in its days of 
glory, prior to the Spanish oppression, it was as populous and 
wealthy as Antwerp. At the commencement of the fifteenth 
century, it was distinguished as the chief seat of the cloth 
manufacture on the continent, and contained 40,000 weavers. 
These formed the strongest and boldest corporation of craftsmen 
in Europe, and to their invincible love of freedom are we owing 
much of the constitutional liberty we now enjoy. The town, 
it is almost needless to relate, was effectually ruined by the 
measures of Charles V. and his son Philip II., and its revival is 
only of comparatively recent date. In 1801, the cotton manu- 
facture was introduced into it by a native who had received 
instructions at Manchester, and succeeded in a very remarkable 
manner. There are now a number of cotton-factories driven by 
steam-power, the indications of which, in the shape of tall brick- 
chimneys, appear in all directions. The situation, on canals which 
bring the raw material to the very doors — the large population of 
the place, among whom are many poor — and the cheapness of 
living, render it advantageous for this or any other species of 
manufacture on a large scale. The railway to Ostend on the one 
hand, and to Liege and the Rhine on the other, must in time 
accelerate the progress of the town in all branches of traffic. 

The spectacle of cotton-spinneries placed amidst rows of antique 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

building's, old gloomy churches and monasteries, is at variance 
with our ordinary conceptions of social improvement. We passed 
from the contemplation of spinning-jennies moved by steam-engines 
to that of an object of an entirely different character — the cathedral 
or church of St Bavon, an edifice of the thirteenth century, enriched 
with twenty-four chapels, and possessing some carved rails and 
sculptures in marble, executed in a style of exquisite beauty. 
Before the grand altar in the choir stand four massive silver-gilt 
candlesticks, each at least five feet in height. They originally 
belonged to St Paul's in London, and were sold during the 
protectorate of Cromwell. The tower of the cathedral is less 
conspicuous in the town than an isolated square turret, which is 
called the Belfry, and was anciently used as a post of outlook by 
the citizens. Its date is 1183. On the summit is a gilt dragon, 
which was originally brought from Constantinople during one of 
the crusades by a detachment of the citizens of Bruges. At the 
conquest of Bruges by the inhabitants of Ghent — these towns were 
always fighting against each other — in 1445, the gilt dragon was 
carried off as a trophy, and has been here ever since. 

Wandering from church to church, we at length came to the 
conventual establishment called the Beguinage. This is a very 
curious place. It consists of an entire square surrounded with 
houses, with a church in the open space in the centre ; also several 
lanes lined with houses — the whole being- enclosed, and entered by 
a single gateway. In front of the houses there was a secluding 
wall, in which were doors leading to the respective dwellings. 
Each door had inscribed upon it a particular motto or saint's name, 
by which in all probability the dwelling within was known. All 
these houses are residences of nuns, and the number of the establish- 
ments must be nearly 100 — the whole, indeed, form a distinct town 
of nunneries. There were lately 600 inmates, of whom we saw 
several, both here and on the streets, in their black stuff-garments 
and white head-coverings : they were all elderly women, of a 
respectable appearance; and I was informed that they devote 
themselves to the duty of sick-nurses, and are to be found wher- 
ever there is either sorrow or suffering. Some are ladies possessing 
considerable wealth, and to these others act as attendants or domes- 
tics ; but all meet on an equal footing in the religious services of 
the church. They are bound by no vow, as other nuns usually 
are, and may therefore be described as single women of a religious 
turn of mind, who devote themselves to works of charity and 
mercy. 

Ghent contains a university, which was founded by William 
when king of the Netherlands ; also a botanic garden, and several 
educational establishments, including a school of arts. It likewise 
possesses a Casino, situated in a pleasing part of the environs, 
and at which musical entertainments are given : it is surrounded 
by a garden for the recreation of visitors during fine weather. 

From Ghent, the railway conducts the traveller to Mechlin or« 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

Malines, where the series of lines converge ; and we have the choice 
of proceeding* in different directions. At this centering-point we 
took the train to Antwerp. After quitting* M alines, we are made 
sensible of approaching the low-lying coast of the country. The 
land assumes all the appearance of polders reclaimed from the sea, 
the ditches are full of water, and canals are seen on the tops of the 
broad mounds or dikes. Rich green fields devoted to the pastur- 
ing of cattle, the neat farm-steadings of the Flemish peasants, and 
church steeples projecting from the midst of clumps of leafy trees, 
all serve to remind us of Holland. The first indication we have 
of approaching Antwerp is the sight of the tall Gothic tower of 
the cathedral rising from the verdant plain before us. The town 
itself is concealed from view till we are close upon it, by a number 
of outflanking bulwarks, in the form of high grassy mounds. 

Antwerp, or Anvers, as it is called by the French and Belgians, 
is strongly guarded on the east and south by high walls and deep 
wet ditches ; on the west it has the fortification called the citadel ; 
and on the north it is bounded by the Scheldt, a river as broad as 
the Thames at Blackwall, and as well fitted for navigation. The 
Scheldt, after passing the town, flows in a north-easterly direction 
to the sea at Flushing — a distance of sixty-two miles. The whole 
country around is perfectly flat. Immediately opposite Antwerp, 
on the left bank of the river, stand a few houses, fortified by 
walls, and forming a station for a ferry: this is the Tete de 
Flandre. Behind this fortified station there is a large flat expanse 
of land, bare, brown, and marshy, and which could be easily 
flooded. Plantations of trees border the horizon in the distance. 

The interior of Antwerp consists of generally narrow streets, 
lined with high houses of a sombre antique appearance, and 
obviously built according to the old Spanish taste. In niches on 
the projecting* angles of some of the houses forming the corners of 
the streets, are seen large gilt wooden figures of the Virgin and 
Child, which may be assumed as an evidence that the town is 
Roman Catholic. It was the first time we had observed such 
representations in the open thoroughfares in Belgium; and we 
learned that they were generally falling into a state of neglect. 
Nothing of the kind, at least, was seen by us in Brussels. Some 
of the streets contain houses of a modern architecture, and there 
are some good shops ; but the air of the whole place is decidedly 
prison -like and monastic. We observed that many windows 
were stanchioned with iron bars, and that some of the doors of the 
houses had small openings in them, covered with gratings, through 
which the inmates could spy those who demanded admittance, and 
thus protect themselves from violent intrusion. Antwerp has been 
so frequently attacked and taken possession of by Spaniards, 
French, English, and Dutch, that these and such like evidences 
of a state of turbulence can excite no surprise. I know of few 
towns in "Western Europe which have suffered so much from 
war. Previous to the disastrous reign of Philip II., it was 

5 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

the greatest commercial city in the world. From 2000 to 3000 
vessels were constantly in the Scheldt, loading" and unloading* 
cargoes of goods; 500 wagons entered the gates daily; and 
the inhabitants amounted to 200,000 in number. The dread- 
ful severities of Alva drove thousands of the merchants and 
artisans to England; and when the Dutch finally made their 
peace with Spain in 1679, the last great blow was given to the 
trade of the town, it being then settled that the Scheldt should in 
future be closed against the entrance of shipping. After this, 
Antwerp dwindled down to the condition of a poor neglected 
town, known only for its churches and the pictures which orna- 
mented them. Napoleon, having conceived the plan of making 
it the greatest of the French naval arsenals in the northern part 
of his empire, if not a rival of the port of London, for both of 
which it was eminently suited, greatly improved the town by 
constructing a beautiful quay along the bank of the river, also two 
large docks for the reception of shipping, and a complete suite of 
ship-building yards, an arsenal, and other important accommoda- 
tions. At the peace of 1814, by the treaty of Paris, the whole 
establishment was broken up, the storehouses and docks ordered 
to be demolished, and the shipping and materials divided between 
the French and Dutch. These measures were forthwith carried 
into effect, with the exception of the destruction of the docks or 
basins, these being spared at the anxious solicitation of the citizens, 
who wished to preserve them for their trading vessels. These 
basins are situated within the eastern boundary of the town, and 
possess commodious entrances from the Scheldt. In winter, when 
the river is apt to bring down masses of ice, they serve the import- 
ant purpose of protecting the shipping from injury. The quay 
forms a most agreeable promenade; when we visited it in the 
evening, we found hundreds of persons enjoying themselves in 
walking, or sitting- on benches at the doors of the houses. Only a 
few vessels lay in the river or alongside the quay ; altogether the 
number did not exceed seventeen, exclusive of barges, and a steam- 
vessel which was to sail next day for London. The trade of the 
town, which suffered by the events of the Revolution of 1830, is, 
we were told, improving, though greatly hampered by certain 
dues levied by the Dutch at the entrance to the Scheldt. The 
town now contains about 80,000 inhabitants. 

Being desirous of visiting the interior of the citadel of Antwerp, 
rendered famous by its protracted siege in 1832, we were fortunate 
in procuring a recommendation to the officer in command, and 
were therefore admitted on presenting ourselves at the entrance. 
I had expected to find something like a castellated fortress, and 
was never more surprised than when we were brought in front of 
certain green mounds, over the tops of which nothing could be 
seen. Pursuing a crooked path between the mounds, we are led 
by a wooden bridge across a broad wet ditch, thence through a 
covered way, which opens on another ditch beyond; having 

6 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

crossed that, we enter another vaulted passage in the walls, and 
are shortly in the interior of the garrison. Previous to the bom- 
bardment, the interior contained a populous village and church, 
besides barracks and storehouses. The whole of these were com- 
pletely destroyed, and at present the visitor perceives only an open 
space, or smooth grassy park, with two or three recently erected 
houses for the soldiery. During the siege, the French artillery 
fired 64,000 shots, including nearly 20,000 bombs which were 
thrown into the garrison. The Dutch are proud of the defence 
made by Chasse on this occasion ; but as it could not, and really 
did not, tend to any useful purpose, we may be excused for viewing 
his conduct, or that of the parties for whom he acted, as merely 
an instance of irrational obstinacy. 

Antwerp is usually styled the cradle of the Flemish school of 
painting ; and it is more frequently visited for its treasures in this 
branch of the Une arts, than for the inspection of the many scenes 
of historical interest by which it is surrounded. From the window 
of our hotel we looked across the Allee Verte, an open place lined 
with rows of trees, to an object which would have charmed the 
eye of an architect. This was the cathedral, with its tall eleg'ant 
square tower and richly decorated transepts raised in airy propor- 
tions above the level of the houses in the Place. The cathedral of 
Notre Dame of Antwerp is one of the largest and finest specimens 
of the Gothic style of architecture now existing- in the Netherlands. 
It was commenced in 1422, and finished in 1518, the work 
having thus required ninety-six years. Properly speaking, it was 
never finished : according to the original design, two towers were 
intended to be raised at the east end of the edifice ; but only one, 
that on the right of the main doorway, has been erected, the other 
being cut short and brought to a point a little above the roof of 
the church. Notwithstanding this deficiency, the building is a 
wonder of architectural beauty, although almost entirely hung 
round with paltry parasitical structures occupied as shops. The 
interior is one entire open sweep from end to end, except an 
enclosed space in the choir, containing the grand altar. The side 
aisles are filled with chapels, each with an altar and pictorial 
embellishments. Entering by the door in the northern transept, 
and advancing a few steps, we have the vast open expanse before 
us, the choir on the right, and the ample nave on the left. On 
the wall of the transepts on our right, one on each side of the 
choir, hang the two pictures of Rubens, which artists have made 
pilgrimages to visit for the last 200 years. The first we come to 
is the Descent from the Cross, a picture justly esteemed as the 
master-piece of Rubens, and which is in some degree familiar to 
the whole civilised world, in consequence of having been so 
frequently copied and engraved. The figure of the dead Christ, 
in the process of being lowered from the cross, is strikingly faith- 
ful to nature, and forms the central and principal object in the 
piece. The picture has two wings to fold over it, and on these 

7 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

are representations of the Salutation and Purification. We went 
to see this great production six times during* our stay in Antwerp 
— the church being" constantly open — and always with increased 
delight. The companion to the picture on the wall of the further 
transept represents the Elevation of the Cross, the body of Christ 
being" seen nailed to it, while a number of figures are exerting 
themselves in raising it into its place. This piece, though less 
celebrated, is not less remarkable for fidelity of drawing than the 
other. The Assumption of the Virgin is a third picture by 
Rubens, placed over the grand altar ; and a fourth, representing 
the Resurrection of Christ from the tomb, is pointed out in one 
of the side- chapels. It would be an oft-repeated tale for me to 
make a single remark on these admirable productions. Nearly 
250 years have elapsed since they were painted ; yet they are still 
in a good state of preservation, though a little faded and old in 
their appearance, and though the substance on which they have 
been painted exhibits a few cracks. Before quitting the edifice, 
we mounted to nearly the summit of the tower, whence a view 
was obtained, including the borders of Holland, Breda, and 
Bergen-op-Zoom, on the east, Brussels on the south, Ghent on the 
west, and the verge of the sea at Flushing on the north. The 
tower is 466 feet in height : at the period of our visit, the tower 
and the eastern entrance were undergoing considerable repairs. 

We visited a number of other churches noted for pictures of 
Rubens, Vandyke, and other eminent artists ; also for carvings in 
marble and oak, some of which, such as rails to altars twisted with 
garlands of flowers sculptured in pure white marble, were among 
the most elegant works of art which had ever come under our 
observation. The Museum of Antwerp was likewise visited in the 
course of our ramble through the town. It contains a collection 
of pictures from suppressed churches and convents, including four- 
teen productions of Rubens ; but though these have commanded 
universal admiration, we could not look upon them with any 
degree of complacency. There is a certain point, beyond which, 
in examining representations of crucifixions, martyrdoms, and 
other physical sufferings, the mind becomes bewildered with the 
reiteration of horrors, and the spectacle ceases to interest. This 
point we had now gained, and were glad to make our escape from 
the collection into the open air. 

1 A journey to Antwerp/ says Emerson Tennant, c is a pilgrimage 
to the shrine of Rubens. 7 It is so : and here, in the very beautiful 
church of St Jacques, immediately behind the high altar, is the 
small chapel which formerly belonged to his family, and which is 
now their consecrated mausoleum. On the 30th May 1640, Peter 
Paul Rubens died, and the rites with which his remains were 
carried, to this their last resting-place, were performed with the 
most imposing solemnity. The surrounding walls and aisles were 
hung with black cloth, and the clergy belonging to the church 
walked in advance of the funeral procession. Next came sixty 

8 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

orphan boys, two bearing* a crown of gold, followed by others 
carrying lighted tapers in their hands ; and then the coffin, sur- 
rounded by the more immediate relatives and friends of the 
deceased. The chief officers of the city, many noblemen of dis- 
tinction, and merchants, and all the members of the Academy of 
Painting, attended ; and in the midst of this vast assemblage, 
while the requiem for the dead was being chanted, his body was 
lowered into the vault before us, which now contains all that may 
yet remain of that dust which is l even in itself an immortality. 7 
Nor does it sleep there alone ; for on each side are likewise depo- 
sited the remains of the two dear companions who were the chosen 
partners of his life. Looking through the rails which divide this 
sacred spot from the aisle at the back of the choir, we behold a 
plain white marble altar, over which is one of his own most 
beautiful paintings, representing the Virgin Mary and infant 
Saviour, with the adoration of St Bonaventura. In this singu- 
larly effective picture, the colouring of which, says Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, \ is yet as bright as if the sun shone upon it, ? he has 
introduced the portraits of his two wives, his father, his grand- 
father, and himself in the character of St George, in compliment 
to King Charles I., who conferred on him, when in England, the 
honour of knighthood. The life of Rubens is singularly interest- 
ing. He lived in an eventful age ; and while, as a diplomatist, 
he enjoyed the friendship and confidence of kings and princes, as 
a private individual he was respected and esteemed by all classes 
of society. His habits were frugal ; his diligence extraordinary ; 
and nothing can inspire us with a more favourable idea of his 
disposition, than his conduct towards other artists. His doors 
were open to them at all hours, even when he was himself at the 
easel ; and although he seldom paid visits, he was ever ready to 
inspect the work of any artist who wished his advice, and often 
would take up the brush himself to touch such parts as required 
it. In every picture he sought to discover something good ; for 
it was his great delight to acknowledge merit, and encourage 
upon every occasion his brother artists. He used to rise very 
early — in summer, at four o'clock in the morning — and immediately 
afterwards attended mass. He then went to work, and while 
painting, employed a person to read to him from one of his 
iavourite classical authors ; for he was an excellent scholar, and 
delighted in Plutarch, Livy, Cicero, and Seneca, which, with 
Horace and Virgil, were his favourite authors. An hour before 
dinner he devoted to recreation, which consisted chiefly in con- 
versing with visitors, who, being aware of his habits, knew at 
what hour their company would be agreeable to him. He indulged 
sparingly in the pleasures of the table, and drank but little wine. 
After working again until the evening, he usually rode out for an 
hour or two. He was extremely fond of horses, and his stables 
generally contained some of remarkable beauty. On his return 

home, it was his custom to receive a few friends, principally men 
49 9 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

of learning, or artists, with whom he shared his frugal supper- 
meal, and passed the evening in instructive and cheerful conversa- 
tion. Such were the domestic habits of this illustrious artist, the 
details of whose life cannot be perused without conveying a lively 
conviction of the truth of the observation, that when industry is 
allied with genius, men may command success, and often attain 
the highest honours of the state. 

Among the churches visited by us during our stay in the town, 
was that of the Jesuits, which we found decorated with flowers 
and growing shrubs, disposed in a tasteful manner among the 
aisles and on the high altar. Adjoining the building, and near the 
entrance, the visitor is shewn through a door, opening into a place 
called 'the Calvary J — a small plot of apparently garden-ground, 
covered with a motley collection of the statues of patriarchs, pro- 
phets, and martyrs, all heterogeneously huddled together, like so 
many figures in a sculptor's yard, without any regard to propor- 
tion, arrangement, or consistency of design. Immediately before 
us, upon a mass of small round stones, walled up to a considerable 
height, was a clumsy piece of sculpture-work, exhibiting the cruci- 
fixion, with figures above, below, and around, which we abstain 
from describing. Underneath this unseemly pile was the most 
remarkable part of the spectacle, which assumes to be a model 
taken from Jerusalem of the holy sepulchre. Upon entering a 
narrow opening, intended to represent a chasm in the rock, we 
found ourselves before an iron grating, railing in a recess, upon the 
floor of which is a bier, covered over with a white sheet, and the 
hand apparently of the dead body protruding through it. The 
walls of this cavernous-looking* place were covered with figures in 
different attitudes, with their faces smeared with coarse red paint, 
to depict the tortures of the wicked in purgatory. How strange, 
that such things should be presented with a view to excite to 
piety ! 

Trade having departed from Antwerp, its people seem to make 
a business of religion ; and it may be said that gloom and silence 
exercise an overmastering influence in the place. Latterly, a 
spirit of modern life has been attempted to be introduced, the most 
significant token of which is a newly erected theatre on a rather 
considerable scale, in which we found tolerable acting by a company 
of French players. The Bourse, or Exchange, where, in days of 
yore, 5000 merchants congregated daily, is an elegant old struc- 
ture, with a central court and piazzas, which formed a model for 
the Royal Exchange in London. It is unfortunately placed in 
a confined situation, but is still resorted to for the purposes to 
which it was originally destined. 

Returning on our track, it was necessary again to pass through 

Malines, and thence a run of half an hour brought us to Brussels. 

The railway terminates at the outskirts of the lower part of the 

town, on a level plain, through which flows the river Senne. On 

a small island formed bv the Senne, a chapel and a few houses 
10 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

were built about the year 600, and thus was commenced a town 
which spread to both sides of the river, and, gradually ascending 
the face of a sloping hill, was surrounded with walls, and named 
Bruxelles, or Brussels— a term said to be equivalent to Bridgetown 
in the old Flemish tongue. 

In the present day, Brussels is found to have stretched all over 
the face of the rising-ground to its broad summit, where now the 
liner part of the town is situated. The hill fronting the south 
and south-west is of that easy inclination which permits streets to 
be built upon it in regular order ; and though inconveniently steep 
in some places for the passage of wheeled-carriages or horses, it is 
nowhere unsuitable for walking. The lower and upper town, as they 
are called, differ in many respects from each other. The markets, 
the theatre, the Exchange, the Post-office, and the Hotel de Ville, 
also some splendid old family mansions, fashionable in their day, 
and a large infusion of mean thoroughfares, occupy the lower 
division. The upper consists almost exclusively of the elegant 
mansions of the gentry, the finest kind of hotels, the palaces, 
senate-house, and other structures of a superior description. The 
Park is likewise here. Along the western Boulevards, an exterior 
road leading down to the lower town, there are also many man- 
sions of modern date, the residences of persons of the higher 
classes. Brussels is a town of stone, not brick. In the upper 
part of the city every edifice is painted white (in oil), and this, 
with the white jalousies of the windows, imparts a strikingly 
brilliant appearance to the streets, particularly in the sunshine 
of summer. Some of the descending streets of the best order 
are likewise painted; but the further down you proceed, the 
darker and more ancient is the aspect of the houses. Another 
peculiarity is observable. The names of the streets and the words 
on the sign-boards in the higher town are in French, and in the 
lower they are in Flemish. In some cases they are both in French 
and Flemish in the lower, as if to suit two sets of people which 
the town contains— as, for example, 6 Oude Kirk Straat— Rue de 
FAncienne Eglise/ which may be observed marked together on 
the corner of one of the streets. Latterly, the town has been 
lighted with gas, but as yet the supply of water is entirely from 
public or private wells. 

It may be seen at a glance that Brussels is a remarkably fine 

town, and that, although not large, it is in other respects entitled 

to rank with Paris and other first-rate continental cities. Within 

the last ten years, it has been vastly improved as regards paving, 

lighting, and the construction of new streets and covered galleries 

or passages, these latter being of an elegant style of architecture. 

The Park of Brussels resembles the garden of the Tuileries, but with 

lofty trees instead of shrubs. I do not know any city-view more 

imposing and more beautiful than that which we obtain from the 

Place Royale across to the entrance of the Park. The Place 

Royale is a large open square (no enclosure in the centre of it as in 

11 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

our English squares), surrounded with tall handsome edifices, with 
the Church of St Jacques in the centre of its northern side ; opposite 
this church the Rue Montagne de la Cour, in which are the prin- 
cipal shops, leads down a mile in length to the lower town ; and on 
the western side of the Place there is an opening which leads to, 
and exposes to view, the grand entrance to the Park, and the long 
terrace-like street called the Rue Royale, bounding the Park on its 
southern side. The appearance of everything in this part of the 
upper town is on a scale of princely magnificence. The Park, to 
which a stranger usually proceeds on his first excursion through 
the city, is planted with rows of trees at the sides, and also radi- 
ating from a centre, where there is a pond in which goldfish 
are confined for the amusement of the promenaders. Thick shrub- 
beries, light coppices, two deep dells, and patches of green-sward, 
variously disposed between the divisions, give variety to the scene, 
while at different points are disposed marble statues, busts, and 
vases, in the style of the gardens of the Tuileries. The prettily 
wooded and well-kept piece of ground forms, as we observed, the 
chief place of promenade on Sundays. On this day, which is one 
of general recreation in Brussels, a military band takes its station 
in one of the clumps of wood near a central plot, where there are 
numerous seats scattered about for the visitors. All classes move 
hither in crowds on these occasions ; and from the immense con- 
course which is seen moving in every direction, a good idea may 
he had of the luxury and fashion of the Belgian metropolis. 

The Park is environed with a number of the principal state 
buildings. At the western extremity is situated the Senate House, 
and opposite it, on the east, close by the Place Royale, is the 
palace of the king. At the north-east corner, adjacent to the 
king's palace, stands the palace of the Prince of Orange. The 
king's palace, now inhabited by Leopold, is a handsome Grecian 
structure of large extent, no way secluded from the street, and is 
said not to contain anything of particular interest to strangers. 
The love of sight-seeing is concentrated on the palace of the Prince 
of Orange. Here we found a crowd waiting for admission, and, 
taking our place, we were allowed to enter as soon as a previous 
set of visitors had been dismissed. The edifice, which measures 
230 feet in length, was planned by the Dutch architect Yander- 
straeten, and finished for William, king of the Netherlands, only 
about a year before the revolution which in 1830 displaced his 
dynasty. Exteriorly, it consists of a rustic basement, surmounted 
by Ionic pilasters extending along its two stories, and is tasteful in 
its appearance. The interior is disposed so as to render the ground- 
floor of no avail except for mean purposes ; the whole strength of 
the design is thrown into the series of apartments on the first floor, 
which we reach by an exceedingly grand staircase of marble. 
Having arrived at the upper lobby, the crowd of visitors is told 
to halt until each person has his or her feet invested in a pair of 
soft woollen slippers over the shoes, in order to save the floors 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

from being* injured. All being" properly accoutred, we are bid to 
enter the first apartment in the suite. The first thing* remarked 
on entrance is the smooth polished floor, along* which we glide or 
skate, rather than walk, the surface being* to all appearance as 
slippery as a sheet of ice. The floor of each room is of a similar 
kind, and consists of small pieces of rosewood, oak, and other 
very fine woods, inlaid in stars and patterns of divers shapes. 
These floors alone must have cost some thousands of pounds.. 
The suite of apartments consists of the usual court-like waiting-, 
reception, throne, dining*, and ball rooms. They are diversified 
in appearance by the colours of their walls. One is decorated 
with hanging's of green silk, another has crimson, a third blue, 
and a fourth crimson-velvet with gold fringes. The curtains, 
of the windows are of a silk fabric similar to these gorgeous, 
hanging's or coverings of the walls. The ball-room or grand 
saloon is a spacious apartment, with walls of a light yellowish-* 
coloured marble, and enriched with twelve or-molu stands for- 
candles, of twelve feet in height, each of which, it was mentioned 
to us, was worth L.600. From this apartment we were led to 
the vestibule where we had entered, there divested of our clumsy 
feet trappings, and conducted to the door. Here, on passing out, 
each paid his fee ; altogether, for our party of four, six francs were 
exacted ; and I should suppose that the person who acts as 
showman must clear something like L.1000 a year. At present, 
the house is under national sequestration. 

Brussels contains a number of public buildings, a picture museum, 
and an institution for exhibiting philosophical and other instru- 
ments, all of which, with one or two private palaces, form objects 
for the visits of strangers. As descriptions of such places, however, 
have usually little interest, I offer only the following sketches of 
what came under our notice. 

In proceeding down the Rue Montagne de la Cour, the eye 
catches sight of a tall Gothic spire, rising in prominent relief from 
the centre of the older portion of the town beneath. This is the 
tower of the Hotel de Ville, an edifice which stands on the south 
side of an open market-place, near the foot of the street. The 
square is surrounded with exceedingly picturesque buildings, in 
the Spanish style, harmonising well with the magnificent structure 
of the Hotel de Ville, which they environ. This large pile of 
building is several stories in height, and of great length, with a 
vast number of windows in front, and also in the tall narrow roofv 
The tower springs from nearly the centre of the front, and^ rising 
to a height of 364 feet, is probably the finest specimen of the 
Lombardo-Gothie in the world. It is light, elegant, and pointed 
with a gilt copper figure of St Michael standing on the apex, as a 
vane. The house is quadrangular, with a square in the centre, and 
is now used for municipal purposes, including those of the police. 
It was erected in the year 1441. In the grand saloon, on the first 
floor from the street, Charles V. held his court while in Brussels ; 

13 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

and here, on the 25th of October 1555, did he abdicate his sove- 
reignty in favour of his son, Philip II., through whose cruelty the 
northern Netherlands were lost to the Spanish crown. It was in 
the middle of the square, or ancient market-place, in which stands 
the Hotel de Yille, that the Counts Egmont and Horn were 
executed on the 5th of June 1568. 

The Cathedral of Brussels, or Church of St Gudule, is another 
fine old Gothic structure meriting the admiration of visitors. It 
stands in one of the old sloping streets, with an open space around, 
and its spires, though not tall, are seen at a great distance. It 
was erected in 1275 ; but having been partially destroyed by a 
mob of violent reformers in 1579, much of it is of a more modern 
date. The appearance is, nevertheless, old and dingy ; and at 
present considerable repairs are in the course of being made on the 
exterior ornamental stones. The interior is remarkable for figures 
of saints in stone on the rows of pillars in the nave, and a pulpit 
of carved wood- work. The figure of each saint, which is ten feet 
in height, and elevated twenty-five feet from the floor, is sculp- 
tured with surprising skill : the whole are by Flemish and French 
artists. The pulpit, which stands on the open floor between two 
of the pillars, is a most elaborate work of art, emblematic of the 
Fall of Man. Adam and Eve are represented the size of life, 
sustaining the globe; an angel is driving them from Paradise, 
and Death is pursuing' them. The figure and countenance of 
Adam (carved in dark yellow wood) are exceedingly expressive 
and striking. The concavity of the globe forms the pulpit, which 
rests upon the tree of Good and Evil, laden with fruit, and deco- 
rated with birds, some of which, by the way, it would be difficult 
to find in any work of ornithology. The tree is represented as 
growing up the back of the pulpit, with its branches and two 
angels supporting the canopy overhead. This beautiful work of 
art was executed by Verbruggen of Antwerp in 1699, and was 
presented to the Cathedral of Brussels by Maria Theresa a few 
years later. The church contains several splendid objects in the 
side-chapels, besides some monuments of distinguished personages 
connected with the history of the Netherlands. The gTand altar 
is a gorgeous structure of white marble, erected in 1743, from a 
bequest of 18,000 florins made by a pious and wealthy widow in 
the town. Latterly, the windows have been filled with modern 
coloured glass, representing Scriptural scenes : they are spoken of 
as being well executed ; but they seemed to us extravagantly full 
of blue, and are inferior in taste and tone to the old painted 
windows of Gouda. 

A glance at the shop-windows of Brussels makes it evident that 
a taste for elegant articles, many of them of native manufacture, 
generally prevails. Lace, tapestry, silks, gloves, cloth, jewellery, 
house-furniture, and books, invite the attention of strangers ; 
and it may be noticed, that a considerable retail-trade is going 
on. The book-shops are exceedingly numerous, which may be 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

considered a good indication of the literary tastes of the people. 
In walking through the streets on Sunday, I had occasion to observe 
that a number of young women, who were left in charge of the 
shops, were sitting behind the counter diligently engaged in read- 
ing. The activity displayed in reproducing French literature is in 
nothing more conspicuous than the announcement which took 
place during my stay, of an edition of a certain Parisian newspaper, 
which was to be issued within an hour after the arrival of the 
paper from Paris. 

Brussels possesses a botanical garden, supported by a company 
of shareholders; it is of great extent and beauty, and forms a 
delightful promenade on the days on which it is open to visitors. 
It is situated on an irregular piece of ground on the western 
Boulevards, at a place greatly improved by the removal of the 
old walls. In the same quarter, in the midst of a pleasant garden, 
is placed the royal observatory, an institution through which I had 
the pleasure of being conducted by the accomplished M. Quetelet, 
chief-astronomer. The observatory contains a number of in- 
struments of great value, but, as may be supposed, of foreign 
manufacture. 

At the distance of about two miles from Brussels, is situated the 
palace of Laeken, which now forms a country residence for King* 
Leopold and his family. The small village of Laeken, through 
which we drive before reaching the royal domain, is of ancient 
date, and contains a number of guiuengttes, or taverns with public 
gardens, where we observed parties sitting in the open air playing 
at dominoes, and otherwise amusing themselves. The palace and 
its environing pleasure-grounds and garden are secluded from 
exterior observation by plantations of tall trees ; and, uniting this 
seclusion with the exceeding lowness of the situation in the swampy 
plain of the Senne and its tributary canals, it must be allowed that 
the locality is the very worst that could be chosen, whether with 
respect to cheerfulness or salubrity. The palace, a large structure, 
in a handsome Grecian style, was erected in 1784, as a residence 
for the Austrian viceroy. Some time after the revolution which 
placed the country under the dominion of the French, it was sold 
in lots, and would have been demolished but for the timely inter- 
position of Napoleon, who purchased it, and again fitted it up 
as a palace of royalty. It was here he signed his unfortunate 
declaration of war against Russia. From the period of Napo- 
leon's fall, the palace has become the property of the crown, and 
has been the residence of the sovereigns successively called to 
govern Belgium. Already, in the space of half a century, Laeken 
has afforded a lodging to princes of four dynasties. Since it came 
into the possession of Leopold, the grounds have been considerably 
extended, and now contain 200 English acres, They are laid out 
with much taste, and comprehend a number of summer-houses, 
green-houses, and an orangery. 

For those who have time to spare, many most agreeable 

15 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

excursions may be made in the environs of Brussels to different 
villages where fetes are constantly occurring", and to which the inha- 
bitants of the town resort in great numbers in the summer months. 
One of the most commonly visited scenes, it is almost unnecessary 
to mention, is that of the field of Waterloo, at the distance of an 
easy forenoon's excursion. 

A stay of a few days in Brussels impressed us with a very 
favourable opinion of it as a place of residence. Both in external 
aspect, and in various social peculiarities, it bears a marked 
resemblance to Paris; but the people here, and in some other 
places in Belgium, are much more like the English than the 
French. The Belgians are an active and business-minding people; 
and, though lively enough in their manner, are evidently not 
wanting in the solid qualities requisite for the mercantile character. 
Those we see in such towns as Brussels, cannot be distinguished 
from English in anything but their language — they may be called 
an English people speaking French ; while those in the country^ 
who form the Flemish part of the population, are remarkable for 
their old-fashioned steady habits, like their brethren the boors of 
Holland. 

For some little time Brussels formed my head-quarters, whence 
I diverged to make inquiries respecting the state of elementary 
education, crime, and agricultural operations. The system of 
school-instruction, I regret to say, was found to be less perfect or 
commendable than that which had merited approbation in Holland. 
Of the social condition of the rural population, there was much for 
the stranger to observe, and to feel interested in. The manage- 
ment of the land in Belgium is altogether peculiar. That kind of 
small farming which is known to produce misery elsewhere, is 
here carried on with a success which is puzzling to the social 
economist. The cause of the phenomenon lies unquestionably in 
the industrious, orderly, and self-denying habits of the people, 
along with a knowledge of certain correct principles in husbandry 
— such as a proper rotation of cropping, and good management of 
manures. The farms generally vary in size from five to twenty 
acres in extent, some being as large as fifty, but few extending to 
a hundred acres. The culture of the light and fertile soil may be 
said to be a species of gardening, in which nearly all the labour is 
performed by the hands of the farmer and his wife and family. 
Nothing can be more neat and attractive than the small white- 
washed farm-steadings, and the well laid-out plots of ground, in 
which not a weed is to be seen among the growing crops. The 
whole is a picture of cleanliness and comfort. It has been ascer- 
tained by statistical inquiry, that the agricultural population, 
whose lives are a constant struggle, are among the most contented 
and well-behaved peasantry in the world. With but sufficient to 
pay a moderate rent, and live in a humble manner, their system 
of farming, unless for prudential habits, would speedily cover the 
soil with a swarm of paupers. It becomes tolerably evident, that 

16 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

the too rapid increase of population is checked by the universal 
repugnance to marrying" before the subsistence of a family can be 
readily and honestly obtained by industry. Conversing* on this 
subject at Brussels with M. le Compte Arrivebene, I was informed 
by him that he had resided for eleven years in a village called 
Gaesbeck, in the province of Brabant, containing" 364 inhabitants, 
and that, during the whole of the period, neither a crime nor 
a culpable indiscretion had been committed. The gTeater part of 
the inhabitants are renters and cultivators of land, to the extent 
of five or six acres each family; and this, with a cottage and 
garden, is quite enough to render them comfortable. They are all 
Roman Catholics, and exceedingly devout. Their piety, however, 
does not render them gloomy and morose : they have fifteen 
holidays throughout the year, exclusive of Sundays; and these 
they partly devote to dancing" and out-of-door amusements. The 
food of this cheerful, industrious, and religious people, is of a 
simple kind. It consists of coffee with bread early in the morning*; 
bread, butter, and cheese, with milk, at nine o'clock ; potatoes with 
lard at noon ; in the evening*, a salad with bread ; and occasionally 
there is a little beer. Whether a people, capable of better thing's, 
should contentedly drudge on with so slender a reward, may be 
matter for consideration, and perhaps regret. It is, at all events, 
certain that Belgian peasant-life, such as it is, possesses some 
agreeable features, and may form a favourable contrast with what 
prevails throughout the British islands. 

English visitors of Brussels usually devote a day to an excur- 
sion to the field of Waterloo, which they can now easily reach 
by means of a stage-coach, specially established for the purpose, 
and which departs every morning from the Place Royale. Our 
excursion to Waterloo formed the commencement of a journey 
to Namur and the southern part of Belgium, which may now be 
briefly described. 

The country, on leaving Brussels, begins to ascend in gentle 
undulations, and to partake of rather bleakish upland, here and 
there darkened with patches of trees, and exhibiting more than 
usually shabby villages. At two or three miles from Brussels, we 
pass the forest of Soignes, a tract of tall fir-trees, with no feature of 
liveliness to cheer its gloom ; and at nine miles we reach the village 
of Waterloo, easily distinguishable by its neat brick church, the 
only good edifice in the place. We are still, however, two miles 
from • the field/ and nothing can be more certain than that the 
village was not in the least entitled to give its name to the battle. 
Passing along, we reach, at the distance of a mile, the village of 
Mont St Jean, a congregation of dwellings much superior to 
Waterloo ; and at a mile beyond, we attain the head of a slight 
ascent, where stands the hamlet of La Belle Alliance, which marks 
the commencement of the battle-field. Here the main road, which 
proceeds in a straight line down the shallow but wide hollow 
towards the extremity of the horizon at Genappe, is cut across by 

17 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

an inferior country road ; and it was along* this ridge, in the line 
of the cross-path, that the English army was posted. The French 
lay on the opposite rising-ground on the south, and the heat of the 
battle may be said to have been in the shallow vale at the farm- 
house of La Haye Sainte and Hugoumont. Several monuments, 
commemorative of distinguished officers, now occupy points on 
the brow of the ridge by the road-side ; but the tree called the 
Wellington- tree, once a prominent object, is gone. Proceeding for 
about a hundred yards to the right, along the cross-road, we reach 
the base of a huge mound of earth, which, with very bad taste, 
has been erected as a perpetual memorial of victory. It is a 
conical tumulus, 200 feet in height, surmounted by the figure of a 
lion, cast by Cockerill of Seraing, from the metal of cannon cap- 
tured in the engagement. A long flight of steps aids the ascent, 
and from the summit we are offered a complete panoramic view 
of the whole field and many miles of country beyond. At the 
period of my visit, the fields around had been for the most part 
cleared of their grain, and now lay in stubble, or were in the 
process of tillage for a new crop. As regards merely physical 
features, therefore, there was nothing to please the eye in the 
prospect ; a person who attended as guide mentioned that the fields 
still bore much heavier crops than others at a distance, in conse- 
quence of the number of bodies of men and horses which had here 
enriched the soil. What a mockery of military glory ! A shower 
now falling drove us hurriedly to the carriage, which awaited 
us on the road, and we made the best of our way, by Genappe 
and Quatre-Bras, to Namur, a distance of thirty-three miles, in a 
south-easterly direction, from Waterloo. 

The district through which our route lay forms part of Hainault, 
a province of a hilly or at least elevated character, and altogether 
different in aspect from the plains of Flanders. The people, too, are 
less neat and economical in their arrangements ; some of the 
villages were poor and dirty, and the growing of flax seemed 
to be one of the principal means of support. At spots where the 
work of the harvest was proceeding, we observed the peculiar 
Hainault scythe in operation, by which the grain was cut down 
with considerable rapidity, though, to my fancy, the process 
appeared slovenly in comparison with that of the sickle in the 
hands of a skilful reaper. Hainault derives less importance from 
its agriculture than its mines of coal, of which a fifth part is 
exported to France. The mines of Charleroi and Mons are of vast 
extent and incalculable value. By means of short railways, the pits 
communicate with the navigable rivers or canals. This part of the 
country is likewise rich in stone of various kinds, among which 
the blue stone of Tournay, and the marbles of St Anne, Charleroi, 
and Chimay, possess a high reputation. 

Within Hainault lies the picturesque and beautiful Valley of 
the Sambre, a small river we see on our right on descending to 
Namur, where it falls into the Meuse, a stream of considerable 

18 



A YISIT TO BELGIUM. 

size. The angle of ground at the junction of the waters, point- 
ing towards the north-east, is a high rocky hill, on which 
stands the citadel, a series of loopholed battlements, overlooking 
the town, and commanding the vales both of the Sambre and 
Meuse. The town itself, in which we spent a night, like all 
places hemmed in by walls, consists of crooked and narrow streets 
of tall old houses, and, except one or two churches, has nothing 
of interest for strangers. From the number of shops in which 
cutlery and articles of brass are exhibited for sale, it may be 
ascertained that these kinds of goods are a staple manufacture in 
Namur, which may appropriately enough be called the Sheffield of 
Belgium. 

The Valley of the Meuse, as it lies exposed from the quay at 
Namur, opens up a new scene of beauty as well as of wide-spread 
industry. A year or two ago, the river was travelled only by 
boats drawn by a train of horses/ and was therefore of little use ; 
it is now navigated daily by small steam-boats from Dinant, 
eighteen miles above Namur, to Liege, about fifty-four miles below 
it ; the voyage between these extreme points, in going down, being 
usually performed in nine hours. The scenery on the banks above 
Namur is grand and imposing, consisting of high bluffs and cliffy 
precipices, often dotted over with shrubs, or rendered picturesque 
by the ruins of an antique castle. From Namur downwards, the 
river winds through a country presenting a miniature resem- 
blance of the Rhine scenery, with the qualification of shewing 
more life and industrial enterprise. As we sail down between the 
romantic rocks, whose bases frequently approach the water so 
closely as to leave space only for the public highway, we are alter- 
nately charmed with the rough abutments and rich slopes clothed 
with vines to their summits, the gray-tiled cottages perched among 
the cliffs, and the old red chateaux with jalousy-covered windows, 
stuck on the uppermost peaks ; or, what becomes more frequent 
as we get further down, the spectacle of little villages, nestling at 
the bottom of a rocky hill, and obviously the centre of mining or 
smelting operations. At about half-way to Liege, we pass on the 
right the ancient town of Huy, stuck awkwardly on the face of 
the hill, the summit of which is crowned with a fortification, 
apparently of immense strength, and commanding, with rows of 
bristling cannon, the passage up and down the Meuse. Part of 
the town is on the low ground on the left bank, the two divisions 
being connected by a long stone-bridge, beneath which the steamer 
barely clears its way. Shortly after, we pass the ancient castellated 
chateau of Chocquier, planted on the apex of a cliff, which rises 
precipitously about 300 feet from the left bank of the river ; and 
further on, on the right, the country now softening into gently 
ascending fields or stretches of flat meadow-land, we come in front 
of the ironworks of Seraing, the far-famed establishment of Mr 
Cockerill. Behind a long and useful quay, the works stretch 
upwards in the form of a series of larg*e quadrangular brick 

19 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

edifices, surrounding" open squares, with various tall cones and 
chimneys, sending* forth masses of smoke, and so many detached 
building's and rows of dwelling-houses for workmen, that the whole 
resembles a manufacturing' town. It is useful to mention, that 
the law which at one time prevented English machine-makers 
from exporting* the produce of their industry, led to the erection 
of the Seraing and other engineering" works to supply the conti- 
nental demand; this unfortunate law being* one of the great 
suicidal measures for which British legislation too long possessed 
an unhappy celebrity. As our steamer shot down the stream, 
after pausing for a minute opposite the quay to land passengers, 
I could not avoid paying a tribute of admiration to the Anglo- 
Saxon enterprise and power of combination, which here, in a 
foreign country, had planted a faithful representation of those 
great factory establishments in which our country has so much 
reason to pride herself. 

From three to four miles below Seraing, the country expands, 
particularly towards the right ; and at this distance we come in 
sig'ht of the ancient city of Liege, reposing on the left bank of the 
river, and backed by a green hill, plenteously dotted over with 
houses and gardens, straggling out from the upper parts of the 
town. During the few hours of our stay, we found the old capital 
of the prince-bishops to be little different from what we had for- 
merly seen it. The fine quay, stretching along the Meuse, was 
well filled with craft which carried on a communication with the 
Lower Rhine, or with the upper part of the country ; while the 
streets exhibited their usual bustle. Crowds of passengers pushed 
along in different directions ; and of the staple manufacture, fire- 
arms, we observed quantities in the hands of artisans in every 
quarter. Being the metropolis of a wide district around, the town 
contains many handsome shops, filled with goods of Belgian and 
Swiss manufacture. It is also distinguished by its numerous 
jewellers' shops and booths, in which are displayed vast quantities 
of trinkets in gold and silver, for use in the devotional exercises of 
the church. 

The railway by which the traveller may now reach Liege from 
Brussels, proceeds onward to Aix-la-Chapelle and Cologne, by way 
of the Valley of the Vesdre. The valley, picturesque and beautiful, 
forms an attractive scene for tourists ; those who are wise and have 
time to spare, will not rush too quickly through this interesting 
piece of country, but devote a few days to a ramble into the 
Ardennes, of which the Valley of the Vesdre is a part. In the 
journey up the valley, we have occasion to pass Chaudfontaine, a 
favourite resort on account of its hot waters. 

After advancing for several miles, we turned aside to the right, 

at the busy manufacturing village of Pepinsterre, and thence 

diverged on an excursion to Spa. The approach to Spa from 

Pepinsterre is by the valley of the small river Waay, a tributary 

of the Vesdre, and equals in picturesque appearance the country 
20 



a Visit to Belgium. 

through which we have just passed. The principal object demand- 
ing attention on our route, is the magnificent ruin of the castle of 
Franchimont, the ancient residence of the marquises of that name, 
whose rights ultimately merged in the prince-bishops of Liege. 
It occupies the summit of a steep conical mount on the left of the 
road : and at its base crouch an antiquated hamlet and church, 
bearing all the appearance of having declined in fortunes with the 
feudal stronghold overhead. Obscure as both castle and hamlet 
are in the topography of modern Belgium, they are not unnoticed 
in the page of chivalrous history. Hence went forth the brave 
600 Franchimontois, who, on the night of the 29th October 1468, 
made a bold effort to seize the persons of Charles of Burgundy and 
Louis XI., while they lay with an army of 40,000 men under the 
walls of Liege. They were, as is well known, slaughtered in the 
attempt. Their heroism has been commemorated by an inscription 
on the rock at a short distance from the ruins of the castle. 

In the course of the two or three miles which intervene between 
Franchimont and Spa, we pass a variety of charming views of 
woodland scenery ; and finally, on emerging from a long avenue 
of trees, we find ourselves entering Spa, which may be observed 
to consist of a cluster of neat white houses, thrown into the form 
of two or three irregular streets and open promenades, the whole 
embowered amidst trees and gardens, and overhung, on the north 
and east, by a woody mountain-range. 

Spa was at one period highly distinguished for its springs, and 
was of such universal resort, that its name was freely appropriated 
and bestowed on any place possessing water of the mineral kind. 
In those times, its celebrity was sustained by various royal vale- 
tudinarians and nobles without number flocking hither from dif- 
ferent parts of Europe. The greatest patron of all, however, was 
Peter the Great of Russia, who visited it in 1717— a circumstance 
never to be forgotten by the inhabitants • for, in gratitude for the 
benefit he derived, he built a handsome edifice with a portico over 
the main spring the Pouhon, in the centre of the village ; and 
there it stands, the only building of architectural elegance in the 
place. Spa seems now to be the resort only of a comparatively 
quiet tribe of persons, who will not take the pains to seek for 
health and pleasure at the springs of Nassau or Baden. Yet Spa 
is a truly healthful and pretty spot, and to my mind is greatly 
preferable to any of the up-country places of racket and resort. 
The principal and most frequented spring, called the Pouhon,* 
which rises in great abundance in a recess of the building already 
alluded to, is an active and powerful chalybeate, impregnated with 
carbonic acid gas, which gives it vivacity, and qualifies it for being 
preserved and sent in bottles to all parts of the world. Near it are 
baths for the use of those who require them. The water is con- 
sidered efficacious in cases of impaired nervous energy and in 

* Pouhon is a corruption in the Walloon tongue from puiser, to draw. 

21 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

bilious complaints. There are four other springs — the Geronstere, 
the Souveniere, the Groesbeck, and the Tonnelets — at the distance, 
respectively, of from two to three miles from the town in different 
directions, and in the midst of beautiful scenery. Near the foun- 
tain of the Souveniere is shewn a walk among* the woods, which is 
stated to have been made by the children of the Duke of Orleans, 
when here for the benefit of their health in 1787. Madame de 
Genlis, who accompanied them as governess, rendered their sojourn 
memorable by a touching* drama, entitled VAveugle de Spa. Close 
by the source of the Souveniere, a rock is shewn, on which is a 
mark somewhat resembling" that of the human foot. Superstition, 
never at a loss in such cases, has induced the credulous villagers to 
call it the footprint of St Remaele, the patron saint of Spa ; and 
believing in its wonderful virtues, they scrupulously place their 
right foot in it when drinking the waters. 

The visitants of Spa usually ride on ponies or in carriages to 
these rural springs ; and as riding, driving, and walking, are the 
great occupations of the day, it may be supposed that not a little 
of the health which the water-drinkers acquire is attributable to 
these out-of-doors recreations. For those who are desirous of 
spending their time in the town, there are two libraries with 
reading-rooms, at which English papers are to be found ; a salle 
de spectacle ; and a redoute where, at the period of our visit, 
gambling was carried on upon a moderate scale. The town 
possesses a parish church of considerable size, and also a convent 
of Capuchin monks, who are described as men of a superior cha- 
racter. During the season, a Protestant place of worship, with 
service in the English tongue, is opened for the accommodation of 
English families and visitants — sum expected to be given for ad- 
mittance by each casual visitor (according to the carte), one franc. 

Little more need be said of this pleasing summer retreat, which 
I am sure would be resorted to by hundreds of English families, 
if they were fully aware of its modest merits, its salubrious climate, 
its delightful walks among the woody Ardennes, its excellent 
hotels and lodging-houses, the respectability of its settled society, 
the abundance of its provisions, and, joined to all, its easy access 
from Ostend by way of Liege. I have left only one thing to say 
of Spa, and that is its manufacture of wooden boxes and other 
small objects. The raw material is a fine white wood, which, on 
being soaked in the mineral waters, assumes a delicate slate or 
dove colour. Thus dyed, the boxes receive paintings of flowers, 
figures, or scenes of various kinds, in a highly tasteful style of 
art ; after which they are varnished with a transparent liquid, 
which hardens, and is equally proof against heat and moisture. 
The inventor, or at least improver, of this ingenious manufacture, 
was a person called Dagly, who lived upwards of a century ago ; 
and now hundreds of men, women, and children, are employed 
upon it : indeed, from the number of shops in which the objects 
are exposed for sale, one might almost think that half the town 

22 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

lived upon this species of fabric. We are informed by a local 
authority, that the value of these ' bois peints,' painted wooden 
articles, amounts to 120,000 francs (L.4800) annually — a large 
sum to be produced by the exercise of taste on materials of so 
humble a character. I have never seen any of the Spa boxes in 
England, where they might be expected to meet with a ready 
market among the purchasers of fancy articles for the toilette and 
drawing-room. 

Tourists bound from Spa for the Upper Rhine may either push 
on by way of Malmedy and Treves, making rather a tedious 
journey through a poor country, or proceed by Verviers and Aix- 
la-Chapelle. We adopted the latter route, although it compelled us 
to retrace our steps as far as Pepinsterre, it being my wish to see 
Verviers, one of the chief seats of the woollen manufacture in 
Belgium. I will not detain the reader with the forenoon's ride 
through the intervening tract of country, but arrive with him 
at once in the higher part of the Valley of the Vesdre, where, 
in a secluded spot on the banks of the winding river, we observe 
the straggling and populous town of Verviers before us. The 
principal reason for pitching a manufacturing town in this remote 
hilly district, appears to have been the water-power, a mill being 
placed at every available point along the stream. Passing clus- 
ters of cloth-making establishments, distinguished by the long 
lines of tenter-frames, we come to the body of the place, consisting 
of several excellent streets, with a number of public buildings 
and hotels, and lined with a plentiful variety of substantial 
shops, warehouses, private dwellings, and of course a good-looking 
Gothic church, standing near the centre of the town. As 
churches always stand invitingly open on the continent, and 
always contain something more or less worthy of notice, we paid 
a visit to it first in the course of our walk through the town. 
The rest in its cool aisles was refreshing after the mid-day heat ; 
and as it was a kind of market-day, we had an opportunity of 
seeing country men and women enter one after the other, and 
pass a few minutes, in an attitude of devotion, at the shrine of a 
favourite saint. One can often guess at the history of a town 
from the appearance of its church. This one was of great anti- 
quity, and was blazoned in all parts with the arms of sturdy old 
Walloons, who had stood by the prince-bishops in their fierce 
struggles with the rebellious spirits of Liege, and as a recompense 
for which the town had finally gained its privileges. 

In the course of our subsequent perambulations, we saw on all 
sides evidences of considerable activity in the dyeing and manu- 
facturing of wool ; but although steam is now brought in to aid 
the water-power, we did not observe any factories on such an 
immense scale as those in Leeds, or the west of England. The 
three chief houses are those of Biolley, Simons, and Defaut, and, 
altogether, we were informed that there are sixty manufactories of 
cloth and forty dye-works. The number of the population is 20,000. 

23 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

Verviers is the last Belgian town towards the frontiers of 
Prussia, and before quitting 1 the country, I may be permitted to 
draw attention to the condition of manufacturing* and commercial 
industry which prevailed in Belgium at the period of my visit, 
and which cannot be g-reatly different now. The benefits arising" 
from a satisfactory condition of independent government are 
numerous and striking in all parts of Belgium. The country has 
obviously recovered the shock of its revolution, as well as the 
injury sustained by its expensive military operations. Leopold, 
who is good-humouredly termed le Hoi Voyageur, or the Travelling 
King, from his restless love of wandering, enjoys a high degree 
of popularity among the more respectable order of his subjects, 
and, from all we could learn, addresses himself earnestly to the 
welfare of the nation. 

Much less hampered by the spirit of methodical system than the 
Dutch, and also more salient and lively in their dispositions, the 
Belgians have within these few years adopted many of the useful 
improvements of England and other countries, and may now be 
considered on the fair way to wealth and prosperity. If they will 
only, with a sincere desire of well-doing, maintain a condition of 
internal quietude, and proceed in the establishment of a system of 
national education calculated to enlighten the intellects of the masses, 
from whom alone there are fears of disturbance, the nation will, in 
no long period of time, take its place as a power of considerable 
importance, and be able to defend itself from all petty aggres- 
sions. Everything considered, the degree of prosperity already 
enjoyed is very remarkable. At the revolution which sepa- 
rated the country from Holland, the Belgians lost almost the 
whole of the trade carried on with the colonies of the Netherlands, 
as these colonies reverted to Holland, to which the large India 
vessels henceforth proceeded. For about two years after the revo- 
lution of 1830, the external commerce of the country languished, 
but the reduction of the citadel of Antwerp, and the opening to 
them of the navigation of the Scheldt, soon changed the face of 
affairs. To make this clear, it may be mentioned that, in 1829, the 
year preceding the revolution, the number of vessels which entered 
the port of Antwerp was 1031, and the number is now above 1400 
annually ; the same proportional increase being observable at the 
only other seaport, Ostend. Without a single colony, the com- 
merce of Belgium is daily extending. At present, the annual 
value of the external commerce of the kingdom is equal to 360 
millions of francs, of which 210 millions are imports, and 150 
millions exports. The total burden of vessels entering the ports 
of Belgium in 1836 amounted to 232,535 tons. 

Symptoms of the revival and establishment of manufactories are 
observable in many places in Belgium, but few are seen anywhere 
in Holland. Except at Haarlem, I do not remember seeing in 
Holland any tall brick chimneys in connection with steam-engines, 
for the manufacture of tissue fabrics. Now, there are many 

24 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 



of these emblems of manufacturing industry in Belgium. In 
Ghent, I observed several of late erection in connection with 
establishments over whose doors were painted the words : 
6 Katoon Spinnerij. 7 The following- scraps of information, gathered 
from works which I procured in Belgium, will convey a tolerable 
idea of the present state of the manufactures of the country. 

Woollen tissues, once the staple of the Netherlands, now employ 
annually about 14,000,000 francs' worth of foreign wool, to which 
may be added 200,000 francs' worth of wool of native growth. 
The woollen cloths are now preferred to the French, and those of 
black dye are in colour superior to the English. The principal 
manufactories are those of Verviers. Liege, Dolhain, Hodimont, 
Stavelot, Thuin, Poperinghe, and ipres. In the year 1833, the 
returns of the Belgian Chambers shewed that in Verviers alone, 
40,000 workmen were employed, the products of their labour 
amounting to 25,000,000 francs. Stuffs, such as flannels, serges, 
camlets, &c, are manufactured in all the provinces, but particularly 
in Antwerp and in Hainault. Flax is one of the principal 
agricultural products of Belgium, and brings a high price in 
the foreign markets, on account of its excellent quality. It is 
raised principally in Flanders, Brabant, and Hainault. The 
provinces of East and West Flanders produce annually flax to 
the amount of 40,000,000 francs. The linen of Flanders is still 
held in high esteem, the climate being apparently well suited for 
its manufacture ; nearly all the cities of the lower provinces 
manufacture it in abundance, but the productions of the looms 
of Bruges and Courtrai are considered the most beautiful, and 
fetch the highest price. Mr J. Cockerill has lately established 
at Liege a steam-loom linen-factory, in which a 90 horse-power 
engine is employed. In the year 1836, the returns shewed a great 
increase in the quantity of linen sold in the Belgian markets ; the 
total of the produce of the looms in Belgium in that year amounted 
to 750,000 pieces, of the value of nearly 100,000,000 francs. In 
the manufacture of flax alone, there are upwards of 400,000 persons 
employed, or a tenth of the entire population. 

The manufacture of cotton goods is increasing rapidly, in conse- 
quence of the general introduction of the best kinds of machinery 
and of steam-power. The cotton manufactures give employment 
in Antwerp and Flanders to 122,000 workmen, and absorb a capital 
of 60,000,000 francs ; the total value of the manufactured articles 
amounts annually to 84,000,000 francs. 

The feeding of silk-worms, and the preparation of silk, is a trade 
also on the increase. The silk fabrics now manufactured in the 
country are esteemed for their good qualities, and already the 
exports of these tissues into France exceed the imports from that 
country. The provinces of Antwerp and Brabant contain the 
principal silk-manufactories. The quantity of native silk produced 
in 1837 amounted to 1991 kilogrammes. 

The lace of Belgium has been always admired for its texture 

25 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

and the beauty of the flowered-work. Very beautiful lace, as 
already mentioned, is made in Brussels in the establishment of 
Messrs Ducpetiaux & Co. Lace of a secondary order is made 
in abundance in the provinces of Antwerp and Flanders. In Mons 
there is a lace-school, designed to carry the workers to the highest 
degree of perfection in the manufacture of this article. The tulles 
or fine net-gauzes of Belgium are in great request in foreign 
countries. The tambour and fine sewing-work gives employ- 
ment to upwards of 50,000 females. Above 2,000,000 of francs' 
worth of lace and tulles are annually exported. 

The mechanical ingenuity of the Belgians is particularly observ- 
able in the manufacture of cabinet-work and elegant house-furni- 
ture. The cabinet-manufactories of Brussels are very extensive, 
and the articles which are there made are noted for their elegance 
and solidity. Immense quantities are annually exported to 
England, Germany, and America. The Dutch are so completely 
behind in works of this description, that fine house-furniture of 
native manufacture cannot be obtained at any price in Rotterdam. 
The tables and chairs of houses furnished in a comfortable manner 
are imported from London. 

The ingenuity of the Belgians equally enables them to excel in 
coach-making. Large quantities of vehicles of an elegant kind 
are now made for home use, and for exportation into foreign 
countries. The hackney-coaches and chaises in Brussels, and 
other towns, also the railway-carriages, are as neat and comfort- 
able as any made in England. 

The manufacture at Liege of steam-engines, locomotive machines, 
power-looms, muskets, and other articles of iron, has already been 
adverted to ; also the cutlery of Namur. In Liege and its envi- 
rons, including Namur, there cannot be fewer than 20,000 men 
employed in the iron trade. Machinery also is now fabricated in 
Brussels, Charleroi, Bruges, Nivelles, Tirlemont, Heme, and 
Yve. At Charleroi, nearly 6000 workmen are employed in the 
manufacture of nails. 

The porcelain works of Belgium are in a thriving condition, 
and sugar-refining is carried on upon a very extensive scale in 
many parts of the kingdom. 

The business of beer-brewing is carried on to a considerable 
extent. The number of breweries is 2800, and a large portion of 
their produce is exported. The best beers are made at Lembeck, 
Brussels, Louvain, Diest, and Hoegarde. Immense quantities of 
spirits also are annually exported. 

The manufacture o£ paper is rapidly improving, by the intro- 
duction of paper-making machines and English workmen. The 
books printed at Brussels are now upon as good paper as the 
greater part of London publications. In this respect alone, the 
Belgians are a century in advance of the Dutch. All the school 
treatises and other works of native produce which came under my 
attention in Holland, are printed in a very rough style upon hand- 

26 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

made paper, of as coarse a quality as that which is used in England 
for wrapping up tea and sugar. Perhaps the reader may smile 
when I suggest that the condition of a country may be pretty 
well known by the number and variety of the printed placards on 
its walls. In the towns up the Rhine, few samples of this species 
of literature meet the eye. You may see a theatrical bill, or some- 
thing else of a trifling kind, but no variety of intimations such as 
one observes in England. In Holland, the press is so completely 
under surveillance, that every placard and handbill is taxed and 
stamped like a newspaper. The walls, therefore, except on the 
great occasions at the fairs, or when there is to be a sale of colonial 
produce, exhibit few printed affiches. Not so in Belgium. The 
walls of Brussels are gaudy with placards, making announcements 
of sales of all kinds, the publication of books, the establishment of 
schools, the opening of places of amusement, and a thousand other 
things. Printed paper is, in short, seen everywhere ; and whatever 
may be said of the religious bigotry of the Belgians, it is perfectly 
clear that they have shot considerably ahead of the Dutch, in 
respect to books, newspapers, and all the other products of the press. 

Such is a rough sketch of the principal branches of manufacture 
now established in Belgium. The variety and extent of the manu- 
factures are daily increasing, for not only are the people active 
and skilful in the pursuits to which they direct themselves, but 
the government is animated by the keenest desire to encourage 
the progress of all branches of industry. National expositions, as 
they are called, or public exhibitions of new manufactures, have 
been instituted, and take place annually at Brussels ; and at these 
gold and silver medals are awarded to a large amount. A satis- 
factory proof of the increase of manufacturing establishments in 
Belgium is afforded by the number of autorisations or licences 
which were issued between 1830 and 1838. In the province of 
Antwerp, the number of autorisations for the establishment of 
manufactories was 171 ; in Brabant, 259 ; in West Flanders, 209 ; 
in East Flanders, 159; in Hainault, 698; in Liege, 260; in 
Namur, 57; in Limburg, 129; and in Luxemburg, 20 — making 
a total of 1962 new manufactories, in which are to be found 
constantly in operation 400 steam-engines. 

The improvement of agriculture, fisheries, mining, and other 
departments of industry, is keeping pace with the advance of 
manufactures. In the Museum of Arts at Brussels, I observed a 
variety of the implements of husbandry, according to the latest 
improvements in Britain — something very different from the show 
of antiquated rubbish which came under my notice in the collection 
at Utrecht. Such have been the advances in agricultural and 
other improvements since the revolution, that there are whole dis- 
tricts in which the value of land has increased more than 25 per 
cent. The sea round the coasts of Belgium yields skate, plaice, 
soles, turbot, whitings, smelts, a small species of cod, sardines, and 

crab3. The outward fisheries consist principally of cod, herrings, 

27 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

and oysters. For this distant sea-fishery, 200 vessels are employed. 
The cod taken by the Ostend vessels amounted in 1837 to 8175 tons. 

The mines form an important department of national industry. 
There are three mining districts; the first, which comprehends 
Hainault, contains 150 mines in a superficial extent of 102,415 
hectares ; the second, which extends to the provinces of Namur 
and Luxemburg*, contains 95 mines in an extent of 30,030 hectares ; 
and the third, which embraces the provinces of Liege and Limburg, 
contains 138 mines in an extent of 32,777 hectares. The principal 
mineral riches consist of coal, of which Hainault produces more 
than the whole of France. The coal-mines of Mons, Charleroi, 
Liege, and Marimont, furnish annually 3,200,000,000 kilo- 
grammes ; besides which, there are many other mines of less 
importance. In 1836, 31,190 workmen were employed in 230 
coal-mines, and the products were estimated at 32,000,000 francs ; 
while in France, where similar mines might be worked with extra- 
ordinary success, there are but 198 in operation, employing 17,500 
miners, and producing annually about 19,000,000 francs. Iron- 
mines abound in the southern provinces in conjunction with those 
of coal. Copper is found principally in Hainault and Liege ; lead 
in the latter, Namur, and Luxemburg ; zinc in Namur, Hainault, 
and Liege; and pyrites, calomine, sulphur, and alum, in Liege 
and Namur. 

The whole country included between the frontier of France and 
a line supposed to be drawn from Ostend to Arlon (including the 
province of Liege), abounds in marble, slate, hewing-stone, and 
lime. Large quantities of marble are quarried, some specimens of 
which are exceedingly beautiful. The black marble of Dinant is 
of great value and in high request. 

In concluding these details respecting the raw and manufactured 
products of Belgium, it is necessary, for the completion of the 
picture of national prosperity, to revert to the improved mode of 
communication by railways, which, as already mentioned, is still 
only in its infancy. In a few years, should no untoward event 
occur, a considerable traffic will be carried on through Belgium 
with Germany, instead of, as at present, through Holland and the 
Lower Rhine. Independently of any advantage which Belgium 
may derive from this anticipated trade with the upper regions of 
Germany— laying its railways entirely out of the question— it is 
indisputable that it will speedily prove, if it is not already, a for- 
midable rival to England both in manufactures and commerce. 
In the manufacture of many articles, it has already attained an 
equal skill ; and in returns from this source it must already be not 
far behind Great Britain, in proportion to size and population. 
Taking its efforts in conjunction with those of its Prussian neigh- 
bours, we may be perfectly assured of the fact, that the superiority 
of England in all kinds of industrial operations is about to be 
divided with other countries. 

At a point near Verviers, the Belgium system of railways 

28 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

terminates and that of Prussia commences. The lines are con- 
nected for the sake of traffic ; but travellers are subjected to the 
inconvenience of having" to change carriages, and have their bag- 
gage examined by custom-house officers. The station-house on 
the spot, however, offers the accommodation of a restaurant, and 
here a short stay is not disadvantageous. As travellers for the 
Rhine may obtain through tickets at Brussels, the delay at Ver- 
viers is not necessarily complicated by their having to pay anew 
for places. It is interesting to note the sudden change of language 
on arriving at this part of the Belgian frontier. French instantly 
ceases to be spoken, and German commences. We likewise 
distinguish a difference of costume and manners. The common 
people, and even the railway functionaries, are seen with heavy 
tobacco-pipes dangling from their mouths, and there may be said 
to be altogether a general uncouthness of appearance in men and 
things. We remark, in particular, a great inferiority in the 
management of rural affairs — slovenly farming, long tracts of 
ground lying waste, without a house to cheer the eye, and 
anon hamlets by the wayside, constructed of mud and wattle, 
and dirty and poor in the extreme ; in short, we see a country 
in which the people are nothing, and the government every- 
thing. Perhaps the government, however, is not altogether to 
blame in the matter, as the people generally possess neither the 
intelligence nor the means to put things on a better footing. Be 
this as it may, the Prussian government takes upon itself the 
duty of thinking and ordering, and also of compelling obedience to 
its orders. In the midst of all the lamentable dirt and poverty of 
a village, for instance, we invariably observe a school-house of 
respectable appearance, in which all the children of the neighbour- 
hood receive a gratuitous and liberal education ; in fact, they are 
compelled to attend, so that the law makes sure of having ultimately 
an educated and thinking people, whatever may be their ignorance 
and incapacity in the meanwhile. The government, likewise, 
takes the whole charge of the public roads, and has the merit of 
keeping them in the best order. It also regulates everything 
connected with travelling by post or diligence, and lays down 
rules for the protection and proper treatment of strang-ers. These 
rules, which are printed in German, French, and English, are hung 
up in all hotels and posting-houses ; and upon any complaint of their 
infringement, redress is immediately given by the proper authority. 

As any account of a journey through Belgium to the Rhine 
would be incomplete without a notice of Aix-la-Chapelle, we pro- 
ceed to offer a few words descriptive of this ancient and important 
city, which we reach in little more than an hour by railway, after 
entering Prussia. 

Aix-la-Chapelle, or Aachen, as it is called by the Germans, is a 
town of great antiquity : its origin, indeed, is probably coeval with 
the first peopling of the country, for it appears to have been occa- 
sioned by certain medicinal springs which exist upon the spot. The 

29 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

town is celebrated as the scene of both the birth and death of the 
Emperor Charlemagne (742-814). In the present day, it consists 
of several respectable, but many more dirty and confined streets, 
with a population of about 38,000. Necessity, as well as inclination, 
led us, shortly after our arrival, to visit the Rath-Haus, or Hotel de 
Ville. Being* the last of the towns in the Prussian league which 
we had to pass through, it was necessary to have our passports 
inspected, and stamped with the licence for departure from the 
kingdom. To the Hotel de Ville, therefore, which is now the 
police-office of the town, we proceeded to have this troublesome 
ceremonial performed — for here personal attendance is imperative. 
The edifice is a large handsome building of stone, with elegant 
exterior flig'hts of steps, and stands in a high part of the town, at 
one side of the open market-place. We feel, in looking upon this 
imposing structure, that we behold a palace in a state of degrada- 
tion and neglect. The roof and walls of the spacious vestibules 
and corridors have been painted with historical figures and scenes, 
but smoke and dirt have rendered them dim and undistinguishable ; 
a loffcy room, which has been similarly embellished, is divided in 
two by a paltry wooden partition ; and the whole interior has an 
air of squalid misery. Yet this edifice has been a great place in 
its day. In its principal saloon, important assemblages of political 
characters have occasionally taken place for the conclusion of great 
treaties ; the last took place in 1818, when the emperors of Austria 
and Russia, with ambassadors from the Prince Regent of England 
and Louis XVIII., met to decide upon the evacuation of France 
by the troops of the allied powers. 

The Hotel de Ville is said to stand on the spot where Charle- 
magne was born ; and to preserve the recollection of that personage, 
a splendid fountain has been erected in the market-place in front : 
it is composed of a large bronze basin for receiving the water, and 
from the centre of the basin rises a pedestal, on which is placed a 
statue of Charlemagne, also in bronze. The whole fabric was 
erected so long ago as 1353 (when the neighbouring Hotel de 
Ville was finished), and it has been kept carefully in repair since 
that time. 

Proceeding from the open market-place down a narrow lane 
of tall dingy houses, we arrive at a low spot of ground whereon 
stands the ancient cathedral — the chapelle from which the town 
has received a portion of its name. It is impossible to make 
out either style or date from the appearance of the structure. 
It is a mass of ill-assorted parts — Gothic, Saxon, Byzantine, old 
and new all stuck in a heap. Such at least is the exterior. The 
interior of the building is chiefly remarkable for an octagonal 
nave with tall rounded arches, which forms the most ancient of 
the various parts of the motley structure, having been built by 
Charlemagne in 796 as a chapel for his place of sepulture, on the 
model of the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem. It was afterwards 
partially destrove'd bv the Normans, but was restored by the 

30 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

Emperor Otho III. about the year 1000 ; its age, therefore, is at 
least between 800 and 900 years. Charlemagne was entombed, 
according" to his request, in a vault below the centre of the dome, 
but here his remains do not repose at the present day. 

Had this monarch contented himself with going down into the 
dust like the rest of his fellow-creatures, he would have stood a 
fair chance of being left to dissolve into the original elements of 
humanity. Unfortunately, however, for his posthumous repose, 
he chose to be buried in all the magnificence of his robes of state, 
and sitting upon a throne, as if still, though in his dreary dungeon 
tomb, ruling the destinies of half the world. It was not in the 
nature of things that his majesty should be allowed to sit for ever 
in this condition of costly splendour. Otho III., emperor of 
Germany, visited the spot, probably at the time he ordered the 
restoration of the edifice, and causing the tomb to be opened, 
there found the skeleton of Charlemagne sitting on the throne on 
which it had been placed at his death in 814. A lapse of nearly 
200 years had not materially disfigured the gay ornaments in 
which the dead monarch was invested. On the fleshless skull 
there was stuck a crown which he had worn during life ; a sceptre 
was fastened in his right hand ; a jewelled mantle of state was 
thrown over his shoulders ; a copy of the Gospels was carefully 
placed upon his knees ; a sword was buckled to his side ; and to 
his girdle was hung the pilgrim's pouch which he had borne 
when alive as a token of Christian piety. Otho forthwith removed 
these valuable insignia of royalty, to be used at the coronations of 
the emperors of Germany. The tomb was again shut up after 
this spoliation, and it remained closed till the year 1165, when 
Frederick Barbarossa, moved by curiosity and piety, ordered it 
to be opened in presence of the bishops of Liege and Cologne, and 
caused the body to be removed and placed in a splendid sar- 
cophagus prepared for the purpose ; at the same time the throne, 
or all that remained of it, consisting of a chair of white marble, 
was brought up to the church, where it is now preserved with 
much care, and exhibited to strangers. Although the body of 
Charlemagne was thus, to all appearance, put safely away, it was 
destined to be again disturbed. At what period it was taken from 
the sarcophagus is not told by any authority, but it is certainly 
gone, as the empty sarcophagus testifies. In all probability it 
has been dispersed in the form of relics, a leg in one place, an arm 
in another, and so on with all the other members. I under- 
stand that the only fragments remaining in the reliquary of 
the cathedral are the skull and an arm-bone ; but during my 
somewhat hurried visit, I had not an opportunity of seeing them. 

At a short distance south from the cathedral, in the lower part 
of the town, we find the chief street of fashionable parade in Aix. 
Here are situated the principal mineral springs, and the rooms 
and arcades which cover them. The waters are sulphureous, 
warm, and nauseous to the senses both of smell and taste. One 

31 



A VISIT TO BELGIUM. 

of tlie hottest of the springs is so abundant, that it cannot all be 
used for drinking 1 and bathing, and is therefore allowed to escape 
for the benefit of the lower class of inhabitants, who wash their 
clothes with it; and as it is alkaline, they have little need for 
soap. Adjoining the water-drinking and bath rooms stand some 
magnificent hotels and gambling-houses. One of the latter, called 
the New Redoute, ranks as the most splendid and profligate of all 
the establishments of the kind on the continent. Gamblers flock 
hither from France, England, and most other countries in Europe, 
and the sums lost and won at the tables exceed all calculation. 
Aix-la-Chapelle is the only place within the Prussian dominions 
in which gambling is licensed or permitted. A number of years 
ago, the public authorities, shocked with the misery and depravity 
arising from the practice, endeavoured to prevent it from being 
carried on within the town. The consequence was, that a small 
village, named Bocette, sprang up in the environs, to which all 
the inveterate gamblers, with their tables, resorted ; and as Bocette 
has also hot springs, visitors began to prefer it to Aix. After 
a time, the town authorities relaxed, and the present elegant 
gambling-houses have been erected, and placed under some kind 
of regulations, one of which is, that a portion of all wimiings, by 
the keepers of the tables, shall be devoted to the embellishment of 
the town. 

A pleasant run of a few hours by railway, takes us from Aix to 
Cologne, and then commences one of the most delightful, as it is 
now one of the most easily accomplished, excursions in Europe — 
the tour of the Rhine. 




STORY OF THE GOOD MIGHT BAYARD. 





HE chivalry ~, 

of the mid-(C 

die ages may 
be said to re- 
present the spirit 
of self-devotion to 
high and command- 
ing interests ; and in- 
asmuch as every exem- 
plification of this spirit 
is an encouragement to 
noble enterprise, it is 
presumable that some de- 
lineation of the life and 
conduct of one of its last 
and greatest champions 
will be acceptable to 
many of our readers. It 
is therefore proposed, in 
the present paper, to 4 
present a brief account of 
the adventures and achievements of the Good 
Knight Bayard — the famous chevalier c without fear and 
without reproach ; ' whose history, though it reads like that 
of some fabulous or mythic personage, is, nevertheless, in all 
substantial points a thing of actual and authentic fact. The 
study of human nobleness, under any manifestation, can 
hardly fail to be attractive ; and if we can faithfully portray 
the lineaments of a hero of the fifteenth century, some service- 
able reflections may possibly be suggested to an intelligent^/ 
inquirer of the nineteenth. At anyrate, we can promise the^ 9 
reader a pleasant and entertaining narrative ; a story of so much 
courage, hardihood, and generosity, that it can hardly fail to excite 
a measure of sympathy and admiration, both for the extraordinary 
feats of bravery to be related, and also for the lofty qualities of 
character which they severally serve to illustrate. 

Pierre du Terrail, commonly called the Chevalier de Bayard, 
was born in or about the year 1476, at the Chateau Bayard, a few 

50 1 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

leagues from Grenoble, in the country of Dauphine. His ances- 
tors, for many generations, appear to have been the feudal lords 
of the territory whence they took their name, and were some of 
them distinguished for their military prowess during* the wars of 
the English in France. Almost all his immediate progenitors died 
on the field of battle : one of them fell at Poitiers, and another at 
Crecy ; his grandfather was killed at Montchery ; and his father 
was so severely wounded in the wars of Louis XI.j as to be 
thereafter incapacitated for further service. He retired to the 
family mansion about the year 1479, and there, after some years' 
nursing of his battered constitution, he appears to have died at 
the age of eighty. 

Shortly before his death, and when he believed that the end of 
his earthly sojourning was drawing nigh, he called for his four 
children, and in the presence of his wife, inquired of them respect- 
ing the professions, or ways of life, which they severally wished 
to follow. The eldest, on being asked what he would like to be, 
replied that it was his wish never to leave the family house, but to 
stay and wait upon his father to the termination of his days. To 
this the good father answered: 6 Well, George, since thou lovest the 
old house, thou shalt remain here to fight the bears/ Then turning 
to the second, who was our good knight without fear and without 
reproach, he asked him, as next in order, what profession he was 
most inclined to ; and, as the chronicler reports, received this 
dignified and courteous answer: 'My lord and father, much as 
filial love constrains me to forget everything in order to wait on 
you to the end of your life, yet having rooted in my heart the fine 
traits which you daily recite of the noble men of days past, 
particularly of those of our own house, I will be, if it pleases you, 
of the same profession as yourself and your predecessors — that of 
arms ; for it is the thing of all others I most desire ; and I hope, 
with the aid of God's grace, not to dishonour you.' This speech 
the youth, though little more than thirteen years of age, delivered 
with a wakeful and beaming countenance ; and thereto the good 
old man replied with tears : ' My child, may God's grace be with 
thee; already thou dost resemble in face and figure thy grand- 
father, who was in his time one of the most accomplished knights 
in Christendom. I will do my best to further thy wishes.' The 
two other sons expressed a desire to devote themselves to the 
calling of the priesthood ; and we learn that, in after-life, they both 
attained to high distinctions — the one becoming* i Abbot of Josaphat, 
in the suburbs of Chartres,' and the other a canon of Notre Dame, 
and subsequently a bishop in Provence. 

The day after the conversation with his sons, the old Lord de 
Bayard despatched a letter to his brother-in-law, the Bishop of 
Grenoble, desiring him to come to the chateau, as he had some- 
thing of consequence to say to him. The bishop immediately set 
forth, and on his arrival found his kinsman ' seated in his arm- 
chair by the fire, as old men are wont.' After a cheerful evening* 

2 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

spent together, in company with several other gentlemen of 
Dauphine, they retired to rest till morning, when they rose and 
heard mass, which was chanted by the bishop, f for/ observes the 
chronicler, c he daily said mass unless prevented by illness ; and 
would to God that the prelates of the present day were all as good 
servants of God, and as charitable to the poor as he was ! ' Mass 
being over, they washed their hands, and partook of a hearty 
breakfast, at which our incipient good knight waited on them, so 
gracefully and discreetly, as to gain the general approbation. 
The meal over and grace said, the Lord de Bayard began to 
explain why he had called the bishop and the rest of his friends 
together. He stated that his son Pierre being desirous of becoming 
a soldier, he had sent for them to advise him as to whither he 
should send the lad for his preliminary training. One recom- 
mended his being sent to the king of France; another, to the 
family of Bourbon ; and in like manner every one tendered his 
advice, according to his individual judgment and prepossessions. 
But at length the bishop spoke, and counselled his being sent to 
the Duke Charles of Savoy; and this advice being presently 
approved by all the company, it was decided by the father that 
Pierre should go with his uncle to Chambery, and there be 
introduced to the duke the next day. 

Being sufficiently equipped at the expense of the good bishop, 
young Bayard rode forth with him on the morrow, having first 
galloped his charger round the courtyard to the admiration of all 
present. On going, he took leave of his father and all his visitors, 
one by one ; and last of all, presented himself to receive the counsel 
and blessing of his mother. The poor lady was in a tower of the 
castle, shedding tears of tenderness, for glad as she was at her 
son's prospects, her motherly love constrained her nevertheless to 
weep. However, when they came to tell her that her son was 
ready to depart, the gentle lady went out at the back of the 
tower, and having sent for him, addressed him in these words : 
■ Pierre, my friend, you are going to serve a noble prince. I 
charge you to observe three things, which, if you do, be assured 
you will prosper. The first is, that before all things you love, 
fear, and serve God, never offending him if possible ; for it is he 
who created us, in whom we live, and who will save us ; and 
without him and his grace we can do no good thing in this world. 
Every morning and every evening commit yourself to him, and 
he will aid you. The second is, that you be gentle and courteous 
to all, putting away all pride. Eschew evil speaking and falsehood. 
Be sober and temperate. Flee envy, for it is an odious vice. Be 
neither a flatterer nor an informer, for such people seldom come to 
good. Be true and loyal in word aud deed. Keep your promise. 
Succour poor widows and orphans, and God will recompense it to 
you. The third thing is, that of the goods which God shall give 
you, be charitable to the poor and needy, for to give for his 
sake makes no man poor ; and take this from me, my child, that 

3 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

the alms you give will profit you in body and soul. This is all I 
have to charge you ; I am persuaded that your father and I shall 
not long survive ; God grant that while we live we may always 
have a good report of you. 7 

Thus counselled, and supplied by the good mother with a little 
purse, which she i drew out of her sleeve/ containing i only six 
crowns in g-old and one in silver/ the young* knight straightway 
took his leave, and proceeded with the bishop towards Chambery, 
where the Duke Charles of Savoy was at that time staying. 
Through good speed they reached the town the same evening; 
and next day, being Sunday, the bishop rose early and went to 
pay his respects to the duke, who, we are informed, 6 received 
him in a manner which shewed how delighted he was at his 
coming. 7 They went together to the church, and after mass the 
duke took the bishop to dine with him, on which occasion his 
young nephew served him as his cupbearer so gracefully, that the 
duke observed it, and asked the bishop who he was. The bishop 
told him in substance what the reader already knows ; and after 
dinner, the young man proceeded to his lodging, and had his 
charger saddled, upon which, when he had fully caparisoned 
him, he mounted, and 'rode featly into the courtyard of the 
duke's house. 7 The duke beheld him from a gallery as he entered, 
and noticed that he made his horse curvet as though he were a 
man of thirty, who had seen war all his life. *My Lord of 
Grenoble/ said he, ' I think that is your little protege that manages 
his horse so well.' * My lord/ replied the bishop, ' he is my 
nephew — of a good race, who has sent forth gentle knights. His 
father, whose health is so much undermined by wounds received 
in battle that he cannot come to pay his respects to you, very 
humbly commends himself to your good grace, and makes you 
a present of him.' ' And in good faith/ replied the duke, 1 1 
accept it gladly. 7 Tis a good and fair present. God make him a 
true man. 7 So he commanded one of his most trusty squires to 
look to this young Bayard, expressing his opinion that he would 
be one day a man of some renown. 

So the youth was made one of the duke's pages ; and for his 
excellent and manly qualities he was soon beloved by great and 
small. He strove to perfect himself in all required discipline and 
exercises; and, in truth, c there was neither page nor lord who 
could in anything compare with him ; for he leaped, wrestled, 
threw the bar (considering his size), and put his horse through all 
his paces, so as none could excel him. 7 And his good master loved 
him as a son. 

When he had been about half a year in the service of the duke, 
the latter one day determined to go and visit the king of France ; 
for in those olden times kings and princes had pleasant ways of 
intercourse, and often went to see each other with less ceremony 
than is now the fashion among very common people in villages 
and market-towns. The king* of France was then at Lyon, 

4 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

where, with his princes and nobles, he was leading* a joyous life, 
if holding" jousts and tournaments daily, and in the evening" dancing" 
with the fair and gracious ladies of the neighbourhood. 7 And a 
jovial fellow, to say the truth, was this young* King- Charles VIII. 
— one of the best, most courteous, liberal, and charitable princes that 
were ever seen or heard of, except in fairy tales. ■ He loved and 
feared God/ says the chronicler, 'and never swore but by the 
faith of his body, or some such little oath. And great pity was it 
that death so soon carried him off, as it did before the age of eight- 
and-twenty ; for had he lived long, he would have achieved great 
things.' On this occasion, when he heard that the Duke of Savoy 
was coming to see him, he sent the Lord de Ligny and other 
gentlemen, and some archers of his guard, to meet him ; and as 
they rode back altogether into Lyon, his lordship was pleased to 
notice young Bayard and his charger, and being ' charmed with 
them/ he recommended the duke to make a present of both to the 
king, which the duke resolved to do accordingly. 

The king received his visitor very graciously; and during dinner 
the next day, they had f much discourse of dogs, hawks, arms, and 
amours ; ' and, amongst other things, the Lord de Ligny mentioned 
to the king the page and his gallant charger, which the duke 
desired to present to him ; whereat his majesty, swearing lightly, 
as was his wont, returned : f By the faith of my body, I should 
like to see him.' Young Bayard was therefore sent for, and 
commanded to appear on horseback in the meadow of Esnay, 
whither, shortly, the king and a large company proceeded to 
witness the appearance which he made. As soon as the king 
beheld the youth upon his charger, he cried out : 6 Friend page, 
give your horse the spur/ which he did forthwith ; and you would 
have thought, to see him start, that he had been at the practice all 
his life. ' At the end of the course, he made his horse give two or 
three bounds, and then returned full gallop towards the king, and 
stopped short before him, making his horse passage, so that not 
only the king but all the company were delighted. 7 Then the 
king said to the duke : ' Truly, cousin, it is impossible to manage 
a horse better ; I shall not wait till you give me your page and 
his horse, but beg them of you.' So both page and horse were 
committed to the Lord de Ligny, who humbly thanked his majesty, 
for he conceived that he could make such a man of the youth as 
would do him honour ; c an expectation/ says mine author, ' which 
was well fulfilled in divers places.' 

For the next three years, young Bayard was a page in the 
family of the Lord de Ligny; and when he had reached the 
age of seventeen, he was discharged from pagehood, and was 
considered qualified to bear arms as one of his lordship's company ; 
being, however, still retained as a gentleman of the household. 

About this time there came to Lyon a gentleman of Burgundy, 
named Master Claude de Vaudray, a man skilled in the science of 
arms, and professionally devoted to it. He prayed the king, who, 

5 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

after making a progress through, his kingdom, was now again at 
Lyon, that to keep all the young gentlemen from idleness, he 
would permit him to proclaim a passage-of-arms, as well on horse- 
back as on foot, with lance and battle-axe, which request was 
granted him ; for indeed the king, having a good deal of useless 
time on his hands, desired nothing better than such joyous 
pastime. Master Claude, accordingly, arranged matters to the best 
of his ability, and, as the custom was, hung up his shields ; which 
all gentlemen who desired to display their skill came to touch, and 
had their names inscribed by the king-at-arms, who presided. 

One day — it being" but three days after he ceased to be a page 
— Bayard was passing by the shields, when the thought struck 
him : i If I knew how to equip myself, I would gladly touch 
the shields, to have a lesson in the use of arms/ And he stopped 
short to think more intentlv on the matter. Just at this time 
a companion of his, one Bellabre, who had also been educated by 
De Ligny, came up and asked him what he was thinking of. 
1 By my faith, friend/ replied the other, ' it has pleased my lord 
to dismiss me from my pagehood, and by his favour to appoint me 
in all things appertaining to a gentleman ; but a desire has seized 
me to touch Master Claude's shields, and I know not, when I shall 
have done so, who will furnish me with armour and horses.' Bellabre, 
who was older than he, and reckoned rather a fast gentleman, 
replied : i My excellent companion, are these your thoughts 1 Have 
you not your uncle, the fat Abbot of Esnay ? Let us go to him, 
and if he will not supply the money, we'll take his cross and 
mitre ; but I think when he knows your wish, he will give it 
willingly.' And at this suggestion, the good knight, without 
further hesitation, went and touched the shields. 

When he had done so, Mountjoy, king-at-arms, who was there 
to inscribe the names, began to say to him : i How, my friend 
Bayard ! your beard is but three years old, and do you under- 
take to fight with Master Claude, who is one of the roughest 
knights known I ' But the young man replied, that what he did 
was not from pride or overboldness, but only from a desire to 
learn the science of arms from those who were competent to teach 
him, and perchance also c to do something which might gratify 
the ladies.' Hearing this, Mountjoy laughed, and was well 
pleased, as was also the Lord de Ligny when the report of it had 
reached him. He went directly to tell the king, who was pleased 
to say : i By the faith of my body, cousin, your pupil will do you 
honour some day, to judge from his beginnings.' * We shall see 
what will come of it,' said De Ligny ; c he is young yet to stand 
the blows of Master Claude.' 

To touch the shields was an easy matter ; but it was not quite 
so easy to find the money needed for horses and accoutrements. 
However, early the next morning, young Bayard and Bellabre 
got into one of the Lyon boats, and rowed across to Esnay, to 
see what could be done with the corpulent old abbot. When they 

6 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

disembarked, the first person they met in the meadow was no 
other than his lordship, who was just then reciting* his breviary 
with a monk. The two gentlemen went to salute him, but he — 
having 1 already heard the story of the shields, and having also 
some presentiment that he would be expected to come down with 
the money — received them but coolly, and addressing his nephew, 
said : l Well, Master Scapegrace, what has made you so bold as to 
touch Master Claude de Vaudray's shields ? It is but three days 
since you were a page, and you are but seventeen or eighteen, 
and should be whipped for your presumption.' Nothing daunted, 
however, the young man answered, that it was not pride which 
had urged him to such boldness, but ' the desire to attain, by deeds 
of virtue/ to the honour which his ancestors had acquired ; and 
that as he had no relative or friend except the abbot to whom he 
could at the moment have recourse, he trusted his lordship would 
have the kindness to assist him. But the abbot was by no means 
so ready to part with his cash for the young man's purposes. 
' By my faith/ said he, l you may go seek elsewhere some one to 
lend you money ; the alms given by the founders of this abbey 
were for the service of God, and not to be spent in jousts and 
tournaments.' These words of the abbot were instantly taken up 
by Bellabre, who, being a man of the world somewhat, observed : 
i My lord, had it not been for the virtue and achievements of your 
ancestors, you would not have been the abbot of Esnay ; ' and he 
went on to say, that it was proper for men to evince gratitude 
for favours they had received, that so they might hope to experience 
it for those they could confer ; adding further, that as his nephew 
desired to distinguish himself, the abbot ought reasonably to 
rejoice, and ended by saying : ' You must needs assist him, for it 
can cost you but two hundred crowns to equip him well, and he 
may do you honour that may be worth ten thousand.' Being thus 
appealed to on the score of personal interest, the abbot, after some 
discussion, consented to assist his nephew, and gave him thereupon 
a purse of 100 crowns to buy a couple of horses, providing him 
also with a letter to his agent Laurencin, in which the latter was 
instructed to supply the youth with clothes and accoutrements. 

The two friends lost no time in availing themselves of the 
abbot's liberality, the more especially as he had not restricted 
them to the expenditure of any specific sum. After their depar- 
ture, the abbot, glad enough to be rid of them, ordered dinner ; 
in the course of which he informed the company who sat at table 
with him what had passed during the morning. On hearing the 
story, his secretary, who was present, observed that his lordship 
had done well; but it just occurred to him, that as the abbot had 
authorised his agent to give his nephew what he asked for, the 
latter would not be unlikely to draw a larger amount than the 
uncle had intended. The abbot, awakened to such a possibility, 
exclaimed : l By St James, secretary, you are right, for I forgot 
to mention any limit;' and he forthwith sent for his steward, 

7 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

urging- him to hasten into Lyon, and desire the ag-ent not to 
disburse more than eighty or a hundred francs. The steward set 
out directly ; but he was too late to prevent the mischief : the 
young gentleman had ' already made his fairing to the amount 
of 800 francs ! ■. To a man careful of his money, as the abbot 
was, this was rather startling intelligence. ■ Eight hundred 
francs ! ' says he ; l by St Mary, he is a naughty varlet. But, 
quick ! you know his quarters ; go and find him, and tell him if 
he does not immediately return Laurencin what he has taken, he 
shall never have another sou from me.' With this message the 
steward returned to Lyon, but somehow, with all his seeking, he 
could not find his man. Bayard, in truth, had been doubting the 
turn which things might take, and had therefore desired his 
servants, if any of my Lord d'Esnay's people came to ask for him, 
to make every excuse to prevent their getting speech of him. So 
when the steward came to inquire for him, they said he was at 
my Lord de Ligny's. Thither he went, but did not find him. 
When he returned, they told him he was gone to try some horses 
on the other side the Rhone. In short, the steward came more 
than ten times without finding him ; and then at last perceiving 
that they were making a fool of him, he returned to Esnay, and 
told the abbot it was lost time to seek his nephew, for he was 
hiding himself somewhere out of the way. S Ah, 7 said the abbot, 
i he is a bad youth, and shall repent of it ; ? but at present he had 
nothing for it but to put up with what had happened, and to 
swallow his anger as best he could. 

Meanwhile, the good knight and his companion, having got 
what they wanted from Laurencin, hastened away, and ordered 
three suits of accoutrements for each to wear over his armour. 
Then they went to a gentleman, who, having lately broken his 
leg, was desirous of selling a charger and a roadster which he 
had. The horses were tried, and purchased for 110 crowns, 
and taken to their stables, where they were well groomed. 
And so now the young gentlemen were both in a condition to 
appear handsomely in the lists. 

As it chanced, they had not to wait long ; for three days after, 
Master Claude de Vaudray opened his passage-of-arms, at which 
he was encountered by many gallant gentlemen of the household 
of King Charles. The honest old chronicler mentions some of 
them, an# states that they severally 'did their best/ Young 
Bayard, being scarcely eighteen, and thus much younger than 
the rest, entered the lists among them, and there made his first 
essay. c And a pretty rough commencement it was/ says the chro- 
nicler ; e for he had to do with one of the most skilful and doughty 
warriors in the world. Yet I know not how it was, whether it 
were the will of God to give him favour, or whether Master 
Claude de Vaudray took pleasure in him, but there was no man 
during the whole contest who surpassed him either on horseback 
or on foot. And he won the praises of the ladies of Lyon ; for as 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

be passed along 1 the lists, after having done his devoir, with his 
visor up, and blushing 1 , the ladies honoured him by saying : " Look 
at this bashful stripling-, he has done better than all the others ! " ' 
And he acquired so much favour with all the company, that at 
supper the good King Charles said to the Lord de Ligny : * By 
the faith of my body, cousin, Bayard has made a good beginning.' 
His lordship agreed in thinking with the king; but he slyly 
remarked, that the young' man's uncle the abbot was not particu- 
larly well pleased, as his bounty had been too freely drawn upon in 
the matter of the accoutrements. But it seems the king had already 
heard the story, and on the mention of it now he laughed heartily, 
as also did all the company. So perhaps it would have been as 
well if the stingy abbot had been a little more liberal and 
gracious, as in that case the success of his nephew would have 
reflected some honour on himself. 

After this tourney, the Lord de Ligny sent for Bayard, and told 
him, that since his commencement in arms had been successful, it 
would be well for him to go into garrison in Picardy, and there 
endeavour to perfect himself by further practice. Accordingly, 
in the course of a few days, we find him in the pleasant town of 
Ayre, proclaiming a tourney in his own behoof, at which prizes 
were to be given to the best doers — namely, a bracelet of gold 
and a handsome diamond, which might serve the winners 'as a 
present for their ladies. 7 

When the day of the tournament arrived, some six-and-forty 
gentlemen appeared in the lists ; being divided by fair lot into two 
parties of three-and-twenty on each side. The trumpet sounded, 
and the rules of the contest were proclaimed. Bayard was first 
called on to present himself, and against him came a neighbour of 
his from Dauphine, named Tartarin, a very stout and sufficient 
man-at-arms. The two ran their course at one another, and the 
good knight broke three lances handsomely in the fray. Then 
came the sword-fight, and, as before, he appears to have excelled 
all his confederates and competitors, and was acknowledged to 
have conducted himself in a manner that could not be surpassed. 
Upon the whole, it was agreed by all the spectators, as well as by 
the two judges present, that there was never seen a day of better 
tilting with the lance, or of more admirable fighting with the 
sword. And though each did well, and many better than was 
customary, it was universally considered that Bayard had acquitted 
himself more gallantly than any. 

In the evening, all retired to his quarters ; he having i prepared 

a magnificent supper, at which were throngs of ladies, for all the 

ladies of Picardy, for ten leagues round, came to see this splendid 

tourney, and made great and sumptuous cheer.' And after supper 

there were ' dances and divers other entertainments,' which were 

gracefully kept up until an hour after midnight. Then the 

gentlemen retired to their quarters, one after another, conducting 

the ladies to their several places of repose ; where, during the still 
50 9 



STOBY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

night, they rested softly, dreaming, perchance, of gay knights in 
glittering and stately armour. Anyhow, it was late enough next 
morning before the fair dames were well awake ; and they ceased 
not to extol marvellously the gallant youth who called the tourney, 
as well for his prowess as his courtesy, and seemed to think that 
* a more gracious and courteous gentleman could not be found in 
the world.' 

The divertisement of yesterday had been performed on horse- 
back ; but now, on the second day, there was to be a display of 
arms on foot, whereby all who despaired of having obtained the 
first day's prize might hope, and have a chance, to win that of the 
second. On this occasion, the good knight encountered a gentle- 
man of Hainault, of much repute, called Henotin de Sucker. The 
manner of the contest was on this wise : c They thrust with all 
their strength at one another over the barrier, till their lances 
were broken in pieces ; after which they seized their battle-axes, 
and dealt each other such stout and furious blows that the combat 
seemed mortal. At length, the good knight struck his adversary 
such a blow over the ear as made him reel, and what was worse, 
fall on both knees, and then following up his attack over the barrier, 
he made him kiss the ground / whereupon the judges interfered, 
and decided that the adversary had got enough. After these two 
came others, who, it seems, c performed wonders with their lances/ 
and dealt each other heavy blows with battle-axes, until they were 
severally parted by the judges. * And for a little tourney/ says 
the narrator, f those who were there saw as good performance as 
they ever beheld in all their lives.' 

When all was over, the combatants retired to their several 
quarters to disarm, and then betook themselves to those of the good 
knight, where a banquet was prepared ; and the two judges and the 
ladies already were arrived. After supper, came the awarding of 
the prizes. t The gentlemen experienced in arms were appealed to 
upon their faith, and then the ladies upon their conscience, and 
without favour shewn to one more than another, to declare their 
opinions. The result was, that ladies and gentlemen agTeed that, 
though each had done his devoir as well as it was possible, yet, in 
their judgment, the good knight was best in both days ; wherefore 
they referred it to him, as having gained the prizes, to bestow his 
presents where he thought fit. 7 

Bayard assigned the prize of the first day to his trusty friend 

Bellabre, and that of the second to a certain f Captain David of 

Scotland/ who may, perhaps, in this nineteenth century, have 

some descendants not unjustly proud of the distinction. On the 

delivery of the prizes, neither men nor women murmured ; and 

when they had been handed over, dancing and other graceful 

pastimes closed the entertainments of the day. And the ladies, it 

seems, never ceased praising the good knight, who was beloved in 

Picardy as never man was before him. \ He was there two 

years/ says our authority abruptly, ' during which there were 
10 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

many tourneys and sports ; in which, for the most part, he carried 
off the prize. And the greatest cause of his being* universally 
beloved was, that there was not on earth a more liberal and 
gracious person: for, if any of his companions lost a horse, he 
remounted him ; if he had a crown in his purse, every one shared 
it. Young as he was, the first thing he did when he rose was to 
say his prayers. He was very charitable ; and no man could say 
he had been refused by him any request it was in his power to 
grant. 7 

In contemplating this picture of old-world recreations, do you 
not think, good reader, that the pursuits and pastimes then in 
fashion were quite as worthy and as honourable as many which 
we have in this ' enlightened nineteenth century I 7 The exercise of 
limb and muscle, the brave endurance of lusty blows, and the 
habitual cultivation of a dignified and appropriate demeanour 
towards equals, superiors, and ladies; all this surely was some- 
thing, and served in its way to educate and drill those young 
dandies of the tilt-yard for the performance of athletic deeds and 
feats of manly enterprise. It was a wholesomer discipline of the 
faculties, I think, than that of flaunting through a polka, or betting 
on the course at Newmarket, or assembling in crowded audiences 
to listen to ' stump-oratory.' You are welcome to your own 
opinion, whatever it may be, but this, at anyrate, is mine ; and 
having uttered it, I am again ready to go on with the history of 
the good knight. 

Some two years after the incidents just related, the young 
king of France set out for the conquest of Naples, accompanied by 
the Lord de Ligny, who, knowing the high qualities of Bayard, 
took care to secure his services for the expedition. After a suc- 
cessful campaign, in which, we understand, Charles ■ brought the 
pope to reason/ and conquered the kingdom of Naples, he was 
intercepted in his return by e 60,000 fighting-men, belonging 
to different Italian potentates/ who thought to make him 
prisoner. But the king, though he had with him only about 
10,000 soldiers, manfully withstood the adversary, and gained 
'a glorious victory.' In this enterprise, the good knight bore 
himself triumphantly. He had two horses killed under him, on 
which account the king presented him with 500 crowns ; but in 
return, the knight presented him with a standard of horse he had 
taken in the pursuit, so, it will be seen, his majesty was no loser 
by his generosity. 

Three years after this event, the king was suddenly taken ill, 

and died ; whereupon Louis, Duke of Orleans, as his nearest heir, 

came to the crown of France, by the title of Louis XII. Soon 

after his accession, the new king attempted the recovery of the 

duchy of Milan, in which enterprise he succeeded ; and afterwards, 

it seems, the French garrisons remained in Lombardy, amusing* 

themselves with jousts, tourneys, and other knightly pastimes. 

Having some time upon his hands, the good knight took occasion 

li 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

to visit a noble lady, who had been married to his former master, 
the Duke Charles of Savoy. She was dwelling at Carignan, in 
Piedmont ; and, being i full of courtesy/ she received him hospi- 
tably, and treated him as a member of her family. While here, 
he fell in with Madame de Fluxas, an honourable lady, who had 
been governess of the house ever since her younger days; her 
husband being a respectable gentleman, who superintended the 
duchess's household. i You must know/ says our authority, 
i that when the good knight was page to the Duke of Savoy, this 
Madame de Fluxas was a young lady-in-waiting on the duchess ; 
and as young people seek each other's company, there sprang up 
such a love between them, in all honour, that had they followed 
their inclinations, without regarding consequences, they had 
married.' After Bayard left the duke's service, the young 
lady wedded the Lord de Fluxas, ' who was rich, and took her 
for her good qualities/ she having, indeed, no other fortune to 
recommend her. She had now become celebrated for her great 
beauty and powers of conversation, and received the good knight 
most welcomely and courteously. They discoursed much of the 
days of their youth ; and she reminded him of the credit he had 
acquired in the lists with Claude de Vaudray, of the tourney in 
which he conquered at Ayre, and of divers other honours ; and 
altogether lauded him so highly, as to put him to the blush. After 
a good deal of pleasant flattery, she at length requested him to 
give a tourney in Carignan, in honour of the duchess ; a request 
to which he readily acceded, saying : c Truly, since you wish it, it 
shall be done.' 

As we have already described one tourney, and shall not have 
space to depict a tenth part of the others in which the good knight 
was engaged, we must refrain from entering into the particu- 
lars of this, and will say only that he so distinguished himself, as to 
get the prize he had offered restored to him, but that he modestly 
declined it, and it was eventually bestowed upon a gentleman who 
was considered second to himself. After five or six days spent in 
feasting at Carignan, the French gentlemen returned to their 
respective garrisons. The good knight also took leave of the 
duchess, who expressed herself extremely proud that he had been 
educated in her family. A more interesting* leave-taking yet 
remained with the Lady de Fluxas, who had been his first love ; 
and we learn that c their parting was not without tears on her 
part, and a sad heart on his.' The Lord de Fluxas was not a 
jealous gentleman, nor indeed had he any occasion for evil 
thoughts, so far as concerned the knight without reproach ; even 
though the ? mutual honourable love' between Bayard and the 
lady ' lasted until death, and no year passed without their sending 
presents to each other.' 

Up to this point, the pursuit of arms has been with Bayard little 
else than a fine chivalrous exercise ; but now we are approaching 
some of his more dangerous adventures., and shall presently behold 
12 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

him as he appeared amid the 'pomp and circumstance of war.' 
When the king* of France got possession of Milan, Ludovic Sforza, 
the former governor, had fled for refuge into Germany ; but not 
long after his flight, 'by dint of money, with which he was 
well provided/ he collected a considerable army, and returning 
with it into Italy, succeeded in retaking the city from the 
French. At the time when this occurred, Bayard was in garrison 
about twenty miles from Milan, with other youthful gentlemen, 
enjoying daily 'wondrous beautiful jousts with one another.' 
Having one day heard that there was somewhere in the neigh- 
bourhood a company of 300 horsemen belonging to the enemy, he 
prevailed on forty or fifty of his companions to go with him to 
beat up their quarters. The Lombard captain, hearing of their 
approach, drew out his men to receive them, about two or three 
bow-shots from the barriers of his position. As the French came 
up, the two parties charged each other stoutly, and several on 
both sides were unhorsed. But after an hour's fighting, neither 
party had the advantage ; on which account the good knight was 
somewhat disturbed in temper. However, he urged his com- 
panions to make a more animated effort; and then his party 
charg-ed the Lombards so furiously, that they began to give 
ground, and retreated, fighting for four or Hve miles, in the 
direction of Milan. The French pursued them till they came 
close to the city, and then one of the oldest cavaliers called upon 
the rest to halt and turn back ; which accordingly they did, with 
the exception of the good knight, who, heedless of all considera- 
tions about his safety, in hot pursuit of the enemy, entered right 
into Milan. Of course he was instantly taken prisoner ; and the 
Lord Ludovic, having heard the noise thereby occasioned, inquired 
what it was, and on being told what had happened, desired that 
the knight should be brought before him. 

The prince, having heard a great deal of his prowess, was 
surprised to find him such a stripling ; however, addressing 
him, he inquired what had brought him into the town. * By 
my faith, my lord/ replied Bayard, unabashed, ? I did not think 
to have entered alone, but reckoned on my companions follow- 
ing me ; but they understood war better than I, for had they 
done so, they would all have been prisoners like me. However, 
saving my mishap, I thank fortune that I have fallen into the 
hands of so brave and worthy a gentleman as this whose prisoner 
I am.' Thus propitiated, the Lord Ludovic treated the good 
.knight with courtesy; and having asked him certain questions 
respecting the strength of the French forces, set him at liberty, 
with his horse and arms, and sent him under safe-conduct to his 
garrison. 

The town and duchy of Milan being both recovered, King Louis 
next undertook to reconquer Naples — that city having likewise 
revolted; but after two or three years' fighting, with various 
success, the French were driven out at all points, and were thus 

13 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

unable to make good their enterprise. While the war was in 
progress, it would seem there were occasional cessations of hostility, 
whereby the soldiery experienced the ordinary discomforts of ennui 
and uncertainty. Bayard was in garrison at Monervyne, and 
growing tired of being cooped up so long, he one evening* said to 
his companions : c Gentlemen, we stagnate here, seeing nothing 
of our enemies. Either we shall grow effeminate for want of 
exercising our weapons, or our enemies will grow bold, thinking 
we dare not for fear quit our fortress. Wherefore I propose to- 
morrow to ride between this and Andrea or Barletta. Perchance 
we may meet with some foragers of theirs, which I should like 
marvellously ; for we may have a skirmish, and then let them have 
the honour to whom God shall give it.' AH approved the pro- 
posal ; and next morning about thirty of them sallied out, and rode 
towards the garrison of the enemy. It chanced that the same 
day a Spanish knight, named Don Alonzo de Sotomajor, having 
with him some forty or fifty Spanish gentlemen, all picked 
cavaliers, made a sortie from the town of Andrea for a like inroad 
on the French. Such was the fortune of the two captains, that on 
descending a little hill, they came in sight of each other within 
the distance of a cannon-shot ; and, as you may guess, were not 
long in coming to blows. The French charged the Spaniards at 
full gallop, who, in their turn, received them gallantly on the 
points of their lances. At the first shock, some were borne to the 
earth on both sides, and with difficulty remounted by their com- 
panions. The fight lasted half an hour, without its being possible 
to say which side had the best of it ; but in the last charge, it was 
the good knight's fortune to break the Spaniards' ranks. There 
remained on the field seven of them dead, and as many prisoners. 
The rest took to flight, and amongst them the captain, Don Alonzo. 
He, however, was closely pursued by Bayard, who called on him 
to turn, as c it were great shame to be slain fleeing ; ' and being a 
brave man, and preferring an honourable death to shameful flight, 
he at length stood up against the knight c like a lion at bay ; and 
they exchanged fifty sword-blows without breathing.' Mean- 
while, the other Spaniards had left their captain • and being thus 
forsaken, he was presently overmastered, and finally yielded up 
his sword to the good knight. The party then rode back to the 
French garrison, where Bayard assigned to his prisoner c one of 
the best rooms in the castle, and supplied him with a dress;' 
telling him at the same time, that if he would give his word not 
to leave the castle without permission, he should remain there, 
with no further restraints upon his liberty, until he had paid his 
ransom. Don Alonzo, in return, thanked him for his courtesy, 
and pledged his faith not to depart without the good knight's 
leave. 

But Don Alonzo was not a man to keep his promise. He 
stayed within his bounds for two or three weeks, i making great 
cheer, and having the run of the castle, no one interfering with 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

liim ; ' but growing* weary of his confinement, and none of his 
people coming to ransom him, he was induced to violate his honour 
by bribing an Albanian* of the garrison to provide him with a 
horse, and flee with him to Andrea. Bayard, on discovering his 
escape, was naturally incensed, and forthwith sent a party of 
soldiers in pursuit of him, ordering them that if they found him, 
to bring him back alive or dead ; and if it should appear that i that 
rascally Albanian had a hand in it/ they were to bring him also ; 
for the good knight declared he * would hang him from the 
battlements, as an example' to all who were disposed to imitate 
his treachery. 

Don Alonzo was overtaken, and carried back in custody to 
Monervyne, whither he had no sooner arrived, than the good knight 
exclaimed : 6 How ! Signor Don Alonzo, you pledged me your faith 
not to leave this without my permission. I will trust you no longer, 
for it is not honourable in a gentleman to escape when he has given 
his parole.' The Don pretended that he had only gone off to fetch 
his ransom-money, intending to send it to Bayard within the next 
two days. But the good knight was not at all disposed to accept 
his excuses by way of payment. On the contrary, he confined 
Don Alonzo in a tower for fifteen days, though without putting 
him in irons, or subjecting him to other hardships; 'and as to 
eating and drinking/ says the chronicler, ' he might be well con- 
tent with his good treatment.' At the end of this time, a trumpeter 
arrived with his ransom, and he was released. He took leave of 
Bayard and his companions courteously enough, and at the same 
time witnessed how the good knight generously gave away the 
whole of his ransom-money among the soldiers. 

Don Alonzo had no sooner got back to his friends at Andrea, 
than he began to complain to them that, although in some respects 
the Lord de Bayard was a generous and noble knight, yet the 
treatment he himself had received from him, was anything but 
such as was becoming from one gentleman to another. As there 
is always somebody ready to report unpleasant observations, his 
complaints were not long in reaching the good knight, who, on his 
part, was in no small degree surprised at them. He immediately 
assembled his people, and after telling them the purport of what 
he had heard, he asked them whether they had seen anything of 
which he himself was not aware, that could justify the accusation. 
They all assured him, that had Don Alonzo been the greatest 
prince of Spain, he could not have been treated better. ' By my 
faith, then/ said the good knight, c I will write to tell him, that if 
he says I have ill-treated him, I will prove the contrary in personal 
combat with him, on foot or on horseback, as he pleases.' 

* These Albanians appear to have been what are termed ' mercenary troops,' 
always foreigners, but not invariably Greeks, as their name might seem to signify. 
The name would seem to have been first given to adventurers of Greek origin, but 
was afterwards applied indiscriminately to Turks, Arabians, and most other 
foreigners. It may be taken as a general term for ' hired troops,' in contradis- 
tinction to soldiers serving according to feudal rule and custom. 

15 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

He therefore called a clerk, and dictated a letter in these terms : 
1 Signor Alonzo, I hear that after your return from being" my 
prisoner, you have spread complaints among 1 your people, that I 
did not treat you like a gentleman. You know the contrary. 
But since, if it were true, it were great dishonour to me, I have 
written to you this letter, by which I pray you to recall your 
words in presence of those who have heard them, confessing, as 
truth is, the good and honourable treatment I shewed you ; and 
so doing you will consult your own honour, and redress mine, 
which you have unjustly aspersed. But if you refuse, I am 
determined to make you unsay your words by mortal combat, 
your person against mine, whether on foot or horseback, and 
leaving you the choice of your weapons; and so adieu.' This 
letter was forwarded by a herald ; and when Don Alonzo had read 
it, he wrote in answer : ' Lord de Bayard, I would have you 
know that I never unsay what I have said ; nor are you the man 
to compel me. Wherefore I accept the combat you propose, 
within fifteen days from this, at two miles from the town of 
Andrea, or wherever else you please. ; 

Bayard was at this time ill of a quartan fever ; but when the 
day of combat arrived, he went forth on horseback, with 200 
men-at-arms, to meet Alonzo, according to arrangement. The 
latter then objected to fight on horseback, and chose to fig'ht on 
foot, thinking that as the good knight was enfeebled by his sickness, 
he should have the better chance to conquer. Bayard allowed him 
to have his choice ; and after fitting preparations, the two began 
the contest. Bayard walked up to his enemy * as confidently as if 
he were going to dance with a lady;' and Don Alonzo, on his 
part, advanced with as little fear. Going straight towards the 
good knight, he said : 6 Signor Bayard, what is your quarrel with 
me? 7 And the good knight answered: 'I would defend my 
honour.' Then without further words they closed, and dealt each 
other a furious blow; the rapier of the good knight wounding 
Don Alonzo in the face, whence the blood began to flow. c Never 
was seen two more doughty champions ; each was sure of foot 
and eye, and would not strike at random.' However, in the end 
Bayard killed his man — not, it seems, intentionally, * for he would 
have given a hundred thousand crowns, had he had them, to have 
spared his life.' But the deed being done, it only remained for 
him to shew his generosity to the fallen. < You know,' said he to 
Alonzo's friends, ' that it is for me to do as I will with the body. 
I restore it to you. And truly I would, my honour being safe, 
that it were otherwise.' The Spaniards then bore off their cham- 
pion's body with piteous lamentations ; and the French escorted 
Bayard with trumpets and clarions to the garrison, where the first 
thing he did was to repair to the church, and return thanks for 
his victory. £ They then,' says the chronicler, 6 had great rejoic- 
ings ; and he was accounted, both by the French and Spaniards, 
to be one of the most accomplished knights that could be found.' 

16 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

Shortly after this event (the truce continuing), there occurred 
a famous combat of thirteen Spaniards against thirteen of the 
French, in which affray the good knight 6 performed surpassing 
feats of arms/ whereof, however, no more minute account can 
here be given, owing to lack of space. About the same time, it 
was his fortune 'to take a treasurer and his man, who were 
carrying 15,000 ducats to the great Captain Gonzalvo; 7 all of 
which, it appears, he distributed very liberally, without reserving 
a single denier for himself. His next exploit was one so remark- 
able, as to deserve describing more at length ; so we now proceed 
to tell you ' how the good knight kept a bridge over the river 
Garillan for the space of half an hour, single-handed, against 200 
Spaniards. 7 

Towards the close of the war in which the French and Spaniards 
were engaged for the possession of Naples, the two parties were 
for some time encamped on opposite banks of the Garillan. And 
as there were brave men before Agamemnon, so there were brave 
men in those days besides the Lord de Bayard. The good knight's 
biographer admits that there were even brave men among the 
Spaniards ; in particular, the ' gTeat Captain Gonzalvo Ferrande, 
a wise and wary man ; ' and also another who bore the name of 
Pedro de Pas, a gentleman of extraordinary figure. i He was but 
two cubits in height, though a bolder creature could not be found ; 
and he was so humpbacked and so short, that when he was on 
horseback, one could only see his head above the saddle/ 

Well, such as he was, this Pedro de Pas resolved one day to 
give the French an alarm, and for that purpose crossed the river 
at a ford he was acquainted with, with about 120 horse, having 
placed behind each horseman a foot-soldier armed with a hacque- 
bute.* His object was to draw the French upon him, and induce 
them to abandon the bridge ; while the Spaniards should attack it 
in force to gain it. He so far succeeded in his enterprise, as to 
induce the French to throng in a body to that quarter. Bayard 
was quartered near the bridge, with a brave gentleman named Le 
Basco, squire of the stables to the king of France. When he 
heard the noise, the two lost no time in arming, and getting to 
horse, proposing to go to the spot where the affair was going 
on. c But the good knight, looking over the river, perceived 
about 200 Spanish horse making straight for the bridge, which 
they would have gained with little resistance; and that would 
have been the total destruction of the French army. He desired 
his companion to go and collect some men as quickly as possible, 
to defend the bridge, or they would all be lost, and promised to do 
his best to keep them in play till his return. He then went, lance 
in hand, to the bridge, on the other side of which were the Spaniards, 

* The hacquebute and hacquebouze (arquebuss) were the first firearms with 
bent stocks ; the latter appear to have been of the larger calibre. The hacquebute 
a croc was fired from a rest or stand, which was attached to the barrel by an iron 
ring. See notes (p. 251) to Kinderslep's History of Bayard. 

17 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

already prepared to pass ; but, like a furious lion, he put his lance 
in rest, and charged the troop who were already on the bridge, so 
that three or four of them were overthrown, of whom two fell into 
the water, and never rose again, for the river was wide and deep. 
This done, they cut him out plenty of work, for he was so fiercely 
assailed, that but for his excellent chivalry, he could not have kept 
them at bay ; but he backed his horse against the barrier of the 
bridge, that they might not get in his rear, and, like a chafed 
tiger, defended himself so well with his sword, that the Spaniards 
knew not what to say, and thought he was no man, but a fiend. 
In short, he maintained his post long and well till Le Basco 
arrived with about 100 men-at-arms, who made the Spaniards 
abandon the bridge, and were pursuing them a good mile beyond, 
when they perceived a large body of 700 or 800 horse coming to 
the enemy's support. The good knight said to his companions: 
a Gentlemen, we have done enough to-day in having saved the 
bridge, let us retreat in as compact a body as possible." This they 
did at a good rapid pace, the good knight bringing up the rear, 
and receiving every charg-e of the enemy.' 

Being sore pressed, however, from his horse failing him through 
weariness, Bayard was taken prisoner, and carried off by the 
Spaniards. This accident occurred in the course of a fresh charge, 
made by a large body of the enemy while the French were in 
retreat. The captors, confident in their numbers, did not conde- 
scend to disarm their prisoner, otherwise than by depriving him of 
a battle-axe which he carried in his hand. But as they went along, 
they kept asking him who he was ; and he, knowing well that if 
he told his name he would never escape alive, replied merely that 
he was a gentleman. Meanwhile, his comrades having missed 
him, and concluding that he was taken prisoner, were very much 
distressed ; and as soon as they could get together in sufficient 
number, they rode after the Spaniards, determined that the ' flower 
of chivalry ' should not be lost without a contest. As they came 
up, they raised the cry of • France ! France ! ' and fiercely assailed 
the Spaniards, some of whom were presently overthrown. Seeing 
this, the good knight, who needed nothing but a horse to put him 
in fighting-trim, leaped from his own, and, without putting foot 
into the stirrup, bounded upon a noble steed, whose rider, a Spanish 
gentleman, was lying prostrate on the ground. Being mounted, 
he i commenced wondrous feats of arms/ crying with the others : 
c France ! France ! ' and adding, ' 'tis Bayard ! Bayard ! you have 
let escape.' When the Spaniards heard the name, their hearts 
failed them, and wheeling about, they retreated at a gallop to 
their camp ; and the French, overjoyed by the delivery of their 
champion, returned merrily to the quarters, ' where,' it is said, 
c they talked of nothing for a week but their brilliant adventure 
and the feats of the good knight.' 

The next time we hear of Bayard, he was lying at Lyon ill of 
a fever — the same which, from time to time, had harassed him for 

18 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

more than seven years. He was also suffering from an old pike- 
wound in the arm, which, through ill-treatment, had produced a 
painful ulcer. But he was not deterred from following the king 
his master, when he went with an army to quell the revolt of the 
Genoese, about the year 1506 ; an enterprise which was effected 
mainly through the skill and valour of the good knight and his 
companions. He was afterwards engaged in various other wars, 
always being distinguished for his valour, success, and generosity. 
Some of his minor exploits must be omitted, that we may have 
the more space for representing his more important ones. The 
next which seems to demand description is a brilliant and memo- 
rable achievement, by which he acquired exceeding honour, during 
the siege of Padua. But first it will be as well to state how 
the siege of Padua came about. 

It appears to have been in this wise. About the year 1509, a 
treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, was formed between 
Pope Julius II., the Emperor Maximilian of Germany, and the 
kings of France and Spain, having for its object the destruction of 
the state of Venice, ' with which/ says the chronicler, ' it seemed 
that the Lord was wroth for their great pomp and little acknow- 
ledgment of God, their luxurious living, and haughty contempt 
for all the other princes of Christendom.' In compliance with this 
treaty, the king of France marched an army from the duchy of 
Milan, and conquered several Venetian towns and castles: among 
others, the castle of Cazavas, which we mention for the sake of 
bringing in a curiosity of f acetiousness, on the part of Bayard's 
secretary, or c loyal serviteur,' who wrote the original memoirs. 
He says that the castle was carried in two hours, and some rustics 
found in it ' were made to try whether their necks were strong 
enough to carry away a battlement.' That is to say, the poor 
fellows were hanged; and this so terrified the people of other 
places, that, with one exception, there was no town or fortress 
which thereafter offered any resistance. All the towns and places 
which the king of France claimed were yielded to him ; some of 
them being restored to the pope, some to the king of Spain, and, 
in particular, the keys of Verona, Vicenza, and Padua, were 
delivered to the French king, who subsequently gave them to the 
emperor. But inasmuch as Padua was very insufficiently gar- 
risoned by the latter, certain Venetian captains made an effort to 
recover it, and, after a sharp contest, obtained possession. With 
the help of the king of France, the emperor now laid siege to it ; 
and it was during this siege that the good knight performed the 
exploit which is next to be described. 

While the emperor's forces lay encamped before the place, they 
were frequently disturbed by sailies from the enemy, and particu- 
larly by soldiers of the garrison of Treviso, a strong town about 
five-and-twenty miles from Padua. Here, among other captains, 
was stationed Master Luke Malleveche, an able and enterprising 
officer. Two or three times a week, he would be rousing up the 

19 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

emperor's camp; and if he saw any opportunity of doing* his 
adversary a mischief, he never spared himself in the attempt ; but 
if not, he prudently retired, and never lost a man. This proceed- 
ing 1 annoyed the good knight exceedingly ; and having* by his 
spies obtained good intelligence of the movements of Malleveche, 
he determined to go and seek him in the open country. 

Communicating his project to certain of his comrades, who 
approved of it, they got to horse one morning in September, 
between two and three o'clock, with about 100 men-at-arms, and 
without sound of trumpet, or any noise, they set forth, with a 
guide before them well guarded by four archers ; promising him 
good payment if he were faithful, and threatening him with death 
if he betrayed them. About ten miles off, as day was breaking, 
they came to a large palace with a long walled enclosure. The 
spy informed them, that if Malleveche made a sortie from Treviso, 
to visit their camp that day, he must needs pass in front of it ; and 
as the place was deserted, they might there conceal themselves, 
and see him pass without being discovered. They accordingly 
entered, and after waiting a couple of hours, heard a great trampling 
of horses. 

The good knight had made an old archer of his company get up 
into a pigeon-house, that he might observe who passed, and ascer- 
tain their number. From this position the man descried Malle- 
veche approaching with about 100 men-at-arms, all helmeted, and 
not less than 200 Albanians, under the command of a Captain 
Scanderberg, all well mounted, and apparently effective men. 
They passed the place of ambush ; and the archer descended in 
high spirits to report what he had seen. All were well pleased ; 
and the good knight, desiring them to regirth their horses, 
exclaimed: i Gentlemen, it is ten years since we had such an 
adventure. They are double our number ; but if we are gentle 
gallants, that is nothing. Let us after them.' 

The gate was opened, and they went off at a smart trot ; and 
having proceeded about a mile, perceived those they were in quest 
of a little way before them on a fine wide road, bounded on both 
sides by broad ditches, i which a man-at-arms, unless he were very 
well mounted, would scarcely venture to leap for fear of sticking 
there.' Trumpets were ordered to be sounded. The Venetian 
captains, who never dreamed of having an enemy behind them, 
thought it was some of their own people wishing to join the foray, 
and therefore pulled up as though waiting for a further reinforce- 
ment. They were not a little surprised to find themselves pre- 
sently enclosed between the emperor's camp and the party which 
they now discovered. Malleveche, however, exhorted his men to 
do their duty, as they must needs conquer or be lost. 

Trumpets were sounded on both sides, and when the two parties 
were about a bow-shot apart, they charged each other vehemently, 
shouting out their respective battle-cries. The chronicler says : 
4 It was a real pleasure to see them ; ' but we suppose the Peace 

20 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

Society would have been of a different opinion. At the first 
charge, many were struck to the ground. Every one was put 
upon his mettle. After some time, the Albanians before spoken of 
left the high-road, and abandoned their heavy troops, to attack the 
French in the rear. But at the good knight's suggestion, one of 
his captains turned round with his followers to engage with them ; 
' and the Albanians were so roughly handled, that a dozen of 
them fell, and the rest fled across the country. 7 Eventually, the 
Yenetians were completely routed ; and the French took a great 
many prisoners. Malleveche, with twenty or thirty of the best- 
mounted, leaped their horses out of the road, and fled towards 
Treviso. They were allowed to escape, as it was considered that 
it would be lost labour to pursue them. The prisoners were more 
numerous than the conquerors ; there being not less than 180 
of them, all of whom were disarmed of their swords and maces, 
and marched triumphantly to the French camp. 

The emperor was walking in the outskirts of the camp when 
they arrived ; and seeing a cloud of dust, sent a French gentleman 
of his household to ascertain what occasioned it. The messenger 
presently returned, saying : c Sire, it is the Good Knight Bayard ; 7 
and went on to say, that he and his companions had c had the 
finest skirmish that has taken place these hundred years ; for they 
have more prisoners than they are men, and have taken two 
standards. 7 Of course the emperor was glad to hear it ; and as the 
French approached, he gTaciously saluted them, they returning 
his salutation ' with the reverence due to so high a prince. 7 He 
complimented each captain as he passed, and when the good 
knight came up he said : c My Lord de Bayard, my brother, your 
master, is very fortunate to have such a servant as you ; I would 
give a hundred thousand florins a year to have a dozen like you. 7 
Whereto the good knight replied : ' Sire, I very humbly thank 
you for the praise you are pleased to bestow on me. One thing I 
assure you, that so long as my master is your ally, you will have 
no more zealous servant than myself. 7 Then all the men-at-arms 
retired to their quarters ; and there was never anything so noised 
in the camp as this splendid enterprise, of which the good knight 
bore off the greatest share of honour, though, with characteristic 
modesty, he always gave the merit of it to two of his companions. 

After another dashing foray on the part of the good knight, 
the emperor determined on storming the town of Padua, and so 
putting an end to that part of the business. But on communicat- 
ing his intentions to the noblemen and officers of his army, a 
strange murmur arose among them, they declaring ' that it was 
not their business to dismount or to storm a breach, but to fight 
like gentlemen on horseback; and with one or two exceptions, 
they all positively refused to have any hand in such an enterprise. 7 
The emperor seems to have been disgusted by their conduct, and 
he, in consequence, retired that very night forty miles from the 

camp, and thence sent orders to raise the siege. 

21 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

Upon the retreat of the imperial army, the good knight was left 
in garrison at Verona, with about 400 men-at-arms, whom the 
king of France had lent to the emperor ; and thence he had many 
skirmishes with the Venetians, commanded by Captain John Paul 
Monfrone. In one of these, he fell into an ambuscade, and was 
twice taken and rescued in the same day ; but, by way of com- 
pensation, he that very night surprised and cut to pieces several 
hundred Venetian infantry. But space would fail us to tell of all 
the skirmishes between the French and the Venetians, and of 
many other things which Bayard's c loyal serviteur 7 has recorded 
of his master. 

After some time, these Italian wars took a new direction: 
hostilities broke out between the pope and the Duke of Ferrara, 
wherein, on the side of the latter, the good knight acquired 
further honour. It seems Pope Julius was very desirous of 
getting possession of the duchy of Ferrara, which, with charac- 
teristic presumption, he pretended belonged to the states of the 
Church; and with this view he withdrew from the alliance with 
the king of France, and prepared a large army in Bologna to 
march into the duchy. The duke applied to the French king for 
assistance, and in return the good knight and other officers were 
sent to him ; together with 3000 or 4000 infantry, and 800 Swiss, 
c all of whom were well received at Ferrara by the duke and 
duchess, and the rest of the inhabitants.' 

The pope, meanwhile, marching by slow stages, arrived at the 
village of St Felix, between Concordia and Mirandola, and thence 
sent to the Countess of Mirandola, requesting her to deliver up 
her town to him ; a request which she, being a courageous woman, 
and devoted to the French interests, decisively refused to comply 
with. The pope was very angry at this answer, ' and swore by 
St Peter and St Paul/ that he would have the town by fair means 
or by force ; and accordingly he ordered his nephew and captain- 
general, the Duke d'Urbino, to go and lay siege to it. While the 
preparations were going on, the good knight formed a plan c for 
seizing the pope and all his cardinals/ and was very near succeed- 
ing in his project. Being informed by his spies that his holiness 
would leave St Felix on such a day, accompanied by his ' cardinals, 
bishops, and prothonotaries, escorted by 100 horse, to join his 
camp before Mirandola/ he set forthwith 100 picked men to way- 
lay him at a place on the road which it was expected he would 
pass. The pope, being an early riser, got into his litter at day- 
break to go straight to his camp, and was preceded by his pro- 
thonotaries, clerks, and officers of all sorts, who were sent on to 
prepare his quarters. When Bayard heard them approaching, he 
quitted his ambush and charged them ; whereupon, in great terror, 
they turned round and fled at full gallop. But notwithstanding 
the alarm they raised, the pope would not have escaped but for 
another accident, which perchance his holiness would be likely 
to consider providential. He had hardly proceeded more than 

22 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

a cannon-shot from his quarters at St Felix, 'when there fell 
such a snow-storm as had not been seen for a century, so thick 
that they could not see one another; 7 and in consequence, the 
pope's prime-minister came and said to him : \ Holy father, it is 
impossible to cross the country while this lasts ; it is necessary, 
and also your duty, to return. 7 The pope accordingly assented ; 
* and, as ill-luck would have it/ says our author quaintly, ' as the 
fugitives were returning*, and the good knight spurring in pursuit, 
just as he arrived at St Felix, the pope was entering the castle, 
and hearing the cry, was so frightened, that he leaped from his 
litter without assistance, and himself helped to raise the draw- 
bridge, which was done like a man who had his senses about him ; 
for, had he tarried the saying of a paternoster, he had certainly 
been caught ! 7 Pope Julius, it would seem, knew when to pray 
and when to act; and, by virtue of this knowledge, he escaped 
the present peril. 

Mirandola was subsequently taken by the pope's forces, though 
it is stated that it never would have been taken but for the 
accident of another snow-storm. 'It snowed so fast for six days 
and nights without ceasing, that the snow was five feet deep ; and 
it then froze so hard, that the moats of Mirandola were, two feet 
*hick of ice, and a cannon, with its carriage, falling from the edge 
of the moat on the ice, did not break it/ There were evidently 
hard frosts in those days. After two wide breaches had been 
made in the walls, the garrison, ' seeing no prospect of relief, 
surrendered upon terms. 7 When the place was captured, the 
Duke of Ferrara retired to his capital, resolving to defend it to 
the last day of his life. 

From Mirandola, the pope despatched an army to attack the 
town of La Bastide, about five-and-twenty miles from Ferrara. 
' He had been advised, that if this place were once taken, Ferrara 
would be deprived of supplies, and would be reduced by famine in 
the course of two months. 7 The prowess of the good knight, 
however, prevented that catastrophe. To save the place, it was 
necessary to relieve the commandant within four-and-twenty hours ; 
and this duty, in the face of great difficulties, Bayard undertook. 
We have no space to state particulars ; but the pope's forces were 
surprised; and the result was, that between 4000 and 5000 foot 
were slain, and above sixty men-at-arms, 'and more than 300 
horses were taken, together with all their baggage and artillery ; 
so that every one had difficulty in carrying off his booty.' The 
chronicler affirms, that there had not been a battle for a hundred 
years better fought or gained at so great hazard. 

We pass over various smaller exploits, simply noting by the 
way, that, in an assault upon the town of Brescia, the good knight 
was severely wounded, and for some time considered himself as 
next to dead ; though by skilful surgery and good-fortune he 
eventually recovered. Brescia was taken by the French ; but it is 
said to have been the ruin of their cause in Italy, for the men got 

23 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

so much plunder, that the greater part of them returned to France, 
and left the war to take its chance. After being several times 
repulsed with considerable loss, and losing their commander, the 
Duke de Nemours (nephew of Louis XII.), in the * cruel and 
furious battle of Ravenna/ those that remained returned in a 
state of great discomfiture to Milan, and were finally driven out 
of Lombardy. 

When wounded before Brescia, Bayard was carried, after the 
citadel was taken, by a couple of archers to a respectable-looking 
house hard by, that he might be laid somewhere to rest until his 
wound could be attended to. The house was the abode of a very 
rich gentleman, who had fled from the town, and taken refuge in 
a monastery; his wife being meanwhile left without protection, 
with two lovely daughters, who were concealed in a loft under 
some hay. You may judge that, in such circumstances, she was 
not without alarm : nevertheless, when the archers knocked at the 
door, she opened it in person, and saw the good knight brought in 
wounded. From the first, his bearing was gentle and considerate 
towards the household. He made them shut the door, and placed 
the two archers at it, charging them on their lives to suffer none 
to enter but his own people, and promising that they should lose 
nothing by not joining in the pillage. The story goes on to say : 
— ' The lady of the house conducted him into a handsome chamber, 
and throwing herself on her knees before him, besought him to 
save the honour and the lives of herself and her two young girls, 
who were just of marriageable years. The good knight, who 
never entertained a wicked thought, replied : " Madam, I know 
not whether I shall recover from my wound ; but whilst I live, no 
insult shall be offered to you or your daughters — only keep them 
out of sight. And I assure you, that you have here a gentleman 
who will not plunder you, but shew you any courtesy in his power." 
He then prayed her to send for a surgeon quickly, to dress his 
wound. She went herself, with one of the archers, to seek him, 
for he lived but two doors off. When he came, he examined the 
wound, which was deep and wide ; and having extracted the iron, 
which was a most painful operation, he assured the good knight 
that it was not dangerous. At the second dressing, came the 
surgeon of the Duke de Nemours, who afterwards attended him, 
and treated him so skilfully, that in less than a month he was 
ready to mount on horseback.' 

While confined to his bed, he was much chagrined at his 
prolonged inaction ; for every day news came from the French 
camp, how they were approaching the Spaniards, and daily 
expecting to have a battle. At length, one morning, he got up, 
and walked about the room, to see if he could support himself; 
and though still weakly, he sent for the surgeon, and asked him, 
if there would be any danger in his travelling. The surgeon, 
knowing how impatient he was to be at the approaching battle, 
told him, that though the wound was not closed, it was healed 

24 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

within ; and if his barber would, every morning" and night, apply 
a bandage, with a plaster he would give him, there would be 
no danger. The good knight, hearing this, was overjoyed, and 
thereupon ordered his servants to be ready for starting in two 
days. 

On the morning of his departure, the lady of the house entered 
his room with a casket containing 2500 ducats, which, with many 
compliments, she begged him to accept, as a trifling consideration 
for the great kindliness which she and her family had received 
from him. Bayard, with a pleasant laugh, declined the present, 
and proceeded, in return, to thank the lady for the good cheer and 
many attentions which he had enjoyed at her expense. Much 
astonished at his refusal, she persisted that she should be a very 
unhappy woman if he would not receive her little offering, which 
she declared to be a quite inadequate acknowledgment of his 
exceeding courtesy. Seeing her so resolute, he at length replied : 
' Well, madam, I accept it for love of you ; but seek me your two 
daughters, for I must bid them adieu.' When they appeared, 
Bayard had divided the ducats into three portions; and now, 
addressing the girls, he presented each with 1000 ducats as a 
wedding-present ; saying to the mother : f I will take these five 
hundred for myself, to apportion them amongst the poor religious 
houses which have been pillaged, and request you to undertake 
the charge, as you will best know where the need is greatest ; and 
so I take my leave of you.' He then took their hands in the 
Italian fashion ; and having accepted from the damsels a pair of 
' bracelets of hair, beautifully worked with gold and silver, 7 and 
6 a purse of crimson satin, curiously embroidered/ he mounted his 
horse about noon, and rode to the French camp, where, on his 
arrival, it is said, the men-at-arms ' displayed such joy, that it 
seemed as if his coming had reinforced the army by 10,000 men. 7 

In the battle of Ravenna, which soon followed, the Duke de 
Nemours, as already said, lost his life ; and not long afterwards 
the French sustained some further severe reverses. The pope, 
in fact, had induced the emperor to withdraw from the French 
alliance; and a numerous army of the Venetians, Swiss, and 
Papal troops, coming down upon their reduced and enfeebled force, 
obliged them to retire to the town of Pavia ; from which place 
also they were subsequently expulsed, and had to abandon nearly 
the whole of their possessions in the country. The reader will be 
concerned to hear, that in the retreat from Pavia, the good knight 
was \ wounded between the neck and shoulder by a ball, which 
carried away the flesh, and laid bare the bone. 7 Some thought he 
was killed; but he, nowise frightened, assured his companions 
that there was no great harm done. The surgery in this case was 
rather of a rude description. \ They stanched the wound as best 
they could, with moss from the trees, and bound it with linen, 
which the soldiers tore from their shirts ; for they had no surgeon 
with them by reason of the bad weather. 7 However, through 

25 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

good-fortune, he was soon in a condition fit for travelling-; and 
having now no further work in Italy, he seems to have journeyed 
back to his native country. 

On returning to France, the good knight went to Grenoble, to 
visit his uncle the bishop, whom he had not seen for a long time. 
Here he was attacked by a violent fever, and was so ill, that his 
life was despaired of. During his sickness, he manifested a consi- 
derable deal of piety, sadly bewailing himself on account of his 
sins, and thereby melting' the bystanders to tears. The good 
bishop was continually in prayer for him, as were likewise all the 
1 nobles, citizens, merchants, monks, and nuns/ that were resident 
in the neighbourhood. * And it could not be,' says the chronicler, 
1 but amongst so many people there must have been some person 
whose prayer the Lord would hear ; as was sufficiently apparent, 
for by degrees the fever left him, he began to sleep and recover 
his appetite, and in a fortnight or three weeks was quite recovered, 
and as lusty as ever, taking his pleasure in visiting his friends and 
the ladies, and banqueting from house to house.' But it would 
scarcely be charitable for the reader to conclude from this, that the 
good knight's piety did not survive his sickness, for, as piety went 
in those days, he would seem to have been ordinarily as pious as 
any man of his generation. 

After remaining some time in Dauphine, Bayard was despatched 
by the king, his master, to assist in the recovery of the kingdom 
of Navarre, which the king of Aragon had usurped, on no other 
reason than that the rightful ruler was in friendship with the king 
of France. In this expedition, siege was laid to Pampeluna ; from 
which, however, after a good deal of hard fighting, the French 
were finally repulsed. It was reckoned an unfortunate expedition, 
'for the French, on entering Navarre, destroyed and wasted 
everything, broke the wind-mills, and did many such-like things, 
which occasioned such a scarcity and famine, that much people 
died ; and the army was in such want of shoes, that a wretched 
pair for a lackey cost a crown.' The soldiers suffered very much 
from hunger ; but, nevertheless, the retreat was conducted hand- 
somely; and in this the good knight acquired no small honour, 
he being always in the rear till danger was past; and indeed it 
appears to have been a compliment invariably paid to him, of 
placing him first in an advance, and among the last in a retreat. 

The course of events has now brought us down to the year 
1513, when Henry VIII. of England, having allied himself with 
the Emperor Maximilian, disembarked at Calais with a powerful 
army to invade Picardy. The English, under the command of 
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Captain Talbot, laid siege 
to Touraine, and were shortly afterwards joined by the king in 
person. On his way thither, he was attacked by the good knight, 
who captured from him a piece of cannon, forming one of the 
twelve pieces which his majesty called the i Twelve Apostles.' 
But in the battle which shortly followed, and which was called 

26 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

the ' Battle of the Spurs/ the French suffered a desperate defeat ; 
and the good knight, for once in his life (being overpowered by 
numbers), had to surrender to the enemy. He was conducted to 
the English camp, where he remained for three or four days, and 
was treated by his captor with marked distinction. The emperor, 
moreover, sent for him to his quarters, and after some gracious 
observations, remarked jestingly : i We were formerly at the 
wars together, and I remember it was then said, that the Captain 
Bayard never fled.' 

1 Sire,' replied the knight, c I was never in that school where 
I learned to flee : had I fled, I should not have been here.' The 
English monarch gave him a more courteous reception, saying : 
* Truly, my Lord Bayard, if all resembled you, I should soon be 
compelled to raise the siege.' After a brief detention, he was 
liberated on his parole not to bear arms for six weeks; and in 
compliance with that arrangement, he went to spend the time in 
visiting certain towns in Flanders. 

In less than two years after the Battle of the Spurs, so called 
because of the speed which the French made in retreat, the good 
king, Louis XII., fell sick and died, and was buried at St Denis 
with his ancestors. His successor, as is not unknown to readers 
of French history, was Francis I., at that time a handsome prince 
of twenty, and but lately married to the Lady Claude of France, 
eldest daughter of the late king, and Duchess of Brittany in her 
own right. Soon after his coronation, the new king made prepa- 
rations for reconquering the duchy of Milan ; in which enterprise 
the good knight was sent forward with a detachment, and ' ren- 
dered the king good service, by surprising the Lord Prosper 
Colonna in the town of Villafranca, and making him and several 
captains prisoners, capturing an immense booty in money, horses, 
gold ana silver vessels, and other movables, which the Lord 
Prosper himself declared was a loss to him of 50,000 crowns.' 
This capture was considered a great affair ; * for had not the 
Lord Prosper been taken, he would have been at the subsequent 
battle, and by his means the Spaniards and the remainder of the 
pope's army would have been there too, mustering together 
1000 men-at-arms; which would have given the French such 
troublesome work as they could well dispense with.' 

The passes of the country were in possession of Swiss soldiers, 
who, however, on hearing of the capture of Lord Prosper, aban- 
doned them, and retreated to Milan. Thence they subsequently 
sallied forth, and made a sudden irruption on the French camp at 
Marignano. The king was on the point of going to supper, but 
he left it untasted, and went straight with his forces to meet the 
enemy. After a sharp skirmish, the Swiss were broken by his 
cavalry. During the combat, the good knight had a narrow 
escape. ' In the last charge upon the Swiss, in the dusk of the 
evening, he was mounted on a gallant steed, his second horse, for 
the first had been killed under him in the first charge. The pikes 

27 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

bristled so thick about him, that his horse's bridle was torn off. 
When the animal felt himself without rein, he rushed, in spite of 
the Swiss, right through their ranks, and was carrying" his rider 
straight into another body of them, when he was fortunately 
arrested by some vines festooned from tree to tree.' Not losing 
his presence of mind, he quickly dismounted, threw off his helmet 
and crosses, and crawled along the ditches to the French camp 
without being discovered. The loss of the French was very great, 
but they, nevertheless, gained the victory, and the town of Milan 
surrendered. The king, on this occasion, desired to confer the 
honour of knighthood on certain of his officers; but as, by the 
rules of chivalry, only a knight could confer the honour, he sent 
for the Lord de Bayard, and informed him first of all that he 
himself wished to be knighted by him, as being ' the knight of 
greatest renown for his feats of arms on foot and on horseback in 
divers battles.' Bayard urged that a crowned king, like Francis, 
was already a knight above all other knights. But the king said : 
f Come, Bayard, dispatch. Allege me not laws and canons ; but 
obey my will and command, if you would be of the number of 
my good servants and subjects.' The good knight then replied : 
f Certes, sire, I will do it not once, but a hundred times at your 
command.' And, thereupon, taking his sword, and laying it on 
the king's shoulder, he said : < Sire, may you be as renowned as 
Roland or Oliver, Godfrey or Baldwin his brother ; and God grant 
you may never turn your back in war ! ' And thereafter the good 
knight kept the sword f as a sacred relic,' in honour of the event. 
The Emperor Maximilian, incensed at the king of France for 
having thus conquered the duchy of Milan, came into the country 
with new forces, for the purpose of regaining it. He was obliged, 
however, to retreat ; and after some suspension of hostilities, he 
died in the year 1519, and his grandson Charles, the king of 
Spain, was elected emperor in his stead. Not long after (namely, 
in 1522), the new emperor assembled an army of 40,000 
men, and having taken several nearer towns, suddenly besieged 
and took Mozon, belonging to the king of France, and thence 
threatened the town of Maizieres, a frontier town lying on the 
Netherlands. Francis despatched Bayard to defend it until he 
could collect an army; declaring that there was no man in his 
kingdom in whom he had greater confidence. The good knight 
found the town in a very poor plight for standing a siege ; but, 
setting every one of his soldiers to work upon the ramparts, he 
soon brought it into tolerable condition. Being besieged on two 
sides, however, he had great difficulty in sustaining the place; 
yet, by a stratagem, he succeeded in inducing one of the two 
attacking camps to remove from its position and join the other, 
whereby the two commanders got into a serious misunderstanding, 
and forthwith raised the siege. The good knight, with only 
1000 men, had kept them at bay for three weeks, and, mean- 
while, the king of France levied an army powerful enough to 

23 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

drive them out of the country. Bayard's services were graciously 
acknowledged and amply recompensed by his master. He was 
created a knight of the order of St Michael, and received the 
command of a hundred men-at-arms. 

Whatever might be the value of these distinctions, the good 
knight was not destined to enjoy them long. That inevitable 
Nemesis which attends the steps of every man favoured by fortune 
throughout many hazards, was now on the point of overtaking 
him. At the commencement of the year 1524, the king of France 
had a large army encamped at Biagras, in Italy, under the 
command of his admiral, the Lord de Bonnivet. In this army, 
Bayard held an office of command, and was sent by the admiral 
with some 200 men-at-arms, to watch the motions of the 
Spaniards near Milan, and to defend the village of Bebec against 
them. The place was assailable on all sides, and there were no 
means of fortifying it, except by barricading the entrances of the 
streets. For the purposes of defence, the good knight considered 
the forces intrusted to him as utterly insufficient, and he appears 
to have several times represented the danger of the enterprise to 
his superior the admiral. The latter, however, paid next to no 
attention to his representations. The Spaniards, who were 15,000 
strong in Milan, learning from their spies that he was in Bebec 
with so small a party, determined one night to surprise him. The 
night selected for the purpose happened to be rainy, and the 
officers on guard at Bebec, suspecting no danger, had left their 
posts, and there remained nobody on watch but three or four 
archers. When the Spaniards approached within a bow-shot of 
the village, they were astonished at finding no one in the outskirts, 
and thought the good knight must have heard of their enterprise, 
and retired to Biagras. However, on advancing about a hundred 
paces further, they encountered the few archers who were on 
guard ; and these, on being charged, instantly fled in great alarm, 
and hurriedly gave notice of the assault. The good knight — who, 
in such danger, never slept without his clothes and his armour 
lying by him — immediately started up, and mounting his charger, 
hastened, with five or six of his own men-at-arms, and a small 
number of infantry, under a certain Captain Lorges, to the barrier, 
to see what was going on. The enemy were surrounding the 
village, intent on finding the quarters of the Good Knight Bayard ; 
and, indeed, if they had taken him, there would have been but 
little left to do. As yet, however, they could not get him. 
Whilst the fight was going on at the barrier, he heard the drums 
of their infantry beating to the attack; and straightway he 
desired Captain Lorges to withdraw his men, whilst he himself 
and the cavalry protected them in the rear. They found it 
necessary to abandon their baggage to the enemy, and to endeavour 
simply to save their lives. This eventually was done ; the French 
making so gallant a retreat, that they lost only ten or eleven men. 

On reaching Biagras, the good knight had some high words 

29 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

with the admiral, which the chronicler has not thought it proper 
to repeat. A short time after this affair, the said admiral, perceiving 1 
his camp to be diminishing daily through want and sickness, called 
together a council of war, and it was then determined to withdraw 
the army. In the retreat, the g-ood knight, as usual, remained 
with the rear-guard. The Spaniards followed them from day to 
day, and had frequent skirmishes with them on the way; but 
whenever they came to charge, they were gallantly driven back 
by Bayard and his men-at-arms. On one occasion, the Spaniards 
threw out on each side of the road a large body of hacquebuters 
and harquebuseers, whose pieces carried large stones, and with 
these they did the French considerable injury. Various gallant 
noblemen were slain ; and, worse than all, the good knight himself 
was one among the number. He was steadily retiring before the 
Spaniards, and frequently turning back to face them, maintaining 
the greatest calmness and resolution amidst the peril, when sud- 
denly 'a stone from a harquebuse struck him on the loins, and 
broke the great bone of the spine.' He was on the point of falling 
from his horse, but still had strength enough to support himself by 
holding on to the saddle, till a young gentleman helped him to 
dismount. He was now pressed to withdraw from the n^ejd, but 
his answer was, that he had never yet turned his back upon an 
enemy. He was placed against a tree, with his face towards the 
Spaniards, who, on hearing he was wounded, became instantly 
impressed with great concern on his account: 'for/ says his 
biographer, ( he had always been very kind to his prisoners, and 
liberal in respect of their ransom; and they knew that, by his 
death, nobility itself was impaired, for, without disparaging others, 
he was the most perfect knight in this world. 1 

The Marquis of Pescara, and other noble Spaniards, who came 
to see him before he died, expressed the greatest commiseration at 
his fate, and spoke loudly in praise of his honour, daring, and 
magnanimity. Amongst others came the Duke of Bourbon, who 
had been formerly engaged in a conspiracy against the king of 
France, and having fled the kingdom, was now in command of 
the Spanish army. He came with the intent of endeavouring to 
console the noble knight, telling him how distressed he was at 
the accident which had befallen him, and offering to send him 
the best surgeons in the country, by whose assistance, timely 
rendered, he thought he might possibly be cured. But when the 
good knight recognised him, he answered : ' My lord, 1 have no 
longer need of physicians for the body, but of those of the soul. 
I am not to be pitied, who die with my honour unsullied ; but 
pity is rather due to you, who are in arms against your prince, 
your country, and your oath.' He continued to live for two or 
three hours ; the enemy having stretched a handsome tent over 
him, and laid him on a bed. A priest was brought, to whom he 
devoutly'confessed himself ; and then, with a final prayer for mercy 
at the hands of the Eternal, he calmly yielded up his breath. 

30 



STORY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

Being* dead, the Spanish chiefs appointed some gentlemen to 
carry him to a church, where solemn service was chanted over 
him for two days. His followers then carried his body into his 
native country of Dauphine ; the highest military honours being" 
paid to his remains as they passed through the duchy of Savoy. 
We are told that in Dauphine the mourning which took place at 
the announcement of his death exceeded the powers of description ; 
and it was confidently said, that for a thousand years before there 
had not died a gentleman so lamented by all ranks and orders of 
the people. The body was escorted from church to church along 
the road by a numerous procession, and was at length interred 
in the monastery of Mynims, about half a league from Grenoble, 
amidst the tears and lamentations of the entire population of the 
neighbourhood ; and so great and passionate was their grief, that 
6 all fetes, dances, banquets, and other pastimes, ceased. 7 Good 
reason, thinks the chronicler, they had for their regret, c for a 
heavier loss could not have happened to that country. 7 

By way of conclusion, we will cite some sentences from the 
eulogy of Bayard 7 s loyal serviteur, as rendered in Mr Kinders- 
ley 7 s condensed translation of the good knight 7 s memoirs. 6 To 
enumerate the virtues of the good knight, 7 says he, ' would be 
superfluous. All things pass away but the love of God. Suffice 
it then to say, that he loved and feared God above all things ; he 
never swore or blasphemed ; and in all his affairs and necessities 

he ever had recourse to Him He loved his neighbour as 

himself, and never possessed a crown but it was at the service of 
the first who needed it. He was a great alms-giver, and gave his 
alms in secret ; he succoured widows in distress ; and during his 
life, had given in marriage a hundred poor orphan-girls, gentle- 
folks, and others. If a gentleman under his command was dis- 
mounted, he remounted him, and in a manner not to offend his 
delicacy, often exchanging a Spanish charger worth 200 or 300 
crowns for a nag worth but six, and giving 1 the gentleman to 
understand that the latter was just the horse to suit himself; so 
graciously did he confer his gifts. He was a sorry flatterer ; and 
never swerved from speaking truth were it to the greatest of 
princes. He looked with contempt upon this world's wealth, and 
was at his death no richer than at his birth. In war, none 
excelled him ; in conduct, he was a Fabius Maximus ; in enter- 
prise, a Coriolanus ; and in courage and magnanimity, a second 
Hector. Dreadful to the enemy ; gentle and courteous to his 
friends. Three qualities marked him for a perfect soldier : he was 
a greyhound in attack, a wild boar in defence, and a wolf in 
retreat. In short, it would take a good orator his life to recount 
his virtues. 7 

This, then, is the c pleasant and refreshing history 7 of Bayard, 
the l good knight without fear and without reproach, 7 as complete 
as we are able to relate it within the present limits. It is the 
history of a life of brave and magnanimous activity, under a 

31 



STOBY OF THE GOOD KNIGHT BAYARD. 

form now obsolete, but which is, nevertheless, in the spirit of it still 
true and beautiful. Courage, heroic daring', and self-devotion to 
ends extraneous to himself, are emphatically exemplified from the 
beginning* to the end of his career. His story, likewise, affords 
us some interesting glimpses of the 6 image and body ? of a time 
which ordinary history has but indifferently represented. We see 
in it, in some sort, how a man of noble instincts was furthered, 
straightened, and circumstantially equipped for living and acting 
in a way that was then considered noble. Extrinsically a soldier 
of fortune, fighting and skirmishing for his pay, Bayard was yet 
mtrinsically a man of chivalrous and lofty spirit ; and in the wild 
element in which he acted and endured, he performed the work 
before him in a manner worthy of admiration. Loyal, faith- 
ful, and persevering in whatsoever he undertook ; unflinching in 
danger, merciful in conquest, and of an unbounded liberality in 
the dispensation of what befell to him by favour and chance of 
fortune, his conduct and character are marked by all the qualities 
of greatness, beauty, and disinterestedness, which are the signs 
and credentials of the hero ; and as such, the world has not incon- 
siderately accepted him, and deemed his memory deserving of a 
lasting preservation. 





J/\m1 '-/t-ff^/t. 




M ATHILDE. 



i. 

HERE never was a more charming", quaint, 
old-fashioned garden, or a more simple and 
excellent old-fashioned gentleman, the owner 
of it, than was to be found within the limits 
o of Deepdean Vale. It was a spot where the 
devotee of c bygones 7 might rhapsodise, and 
which the urbane and silver-haired squire de- 
lighted to expatiate on, for next to Dorothy, his 
only child, this old-fashioned gentleman dearly loved 
his old-fashioned garden, and, it must be confessed, 
both were delightful in their way. 



Mr Cheyne himself, in point of universal benevolence, 
philanthropy, and unaffected courtesy, greatly resembled the 
51 



MATHILDE. 



notable Sir Roger de Coverley; his politeness arose from real 
kindliness of heart, and his gentleness of demeanour from simplicity 
of character and real piety ; although a constitutional tendency to 
inactivity, and a dislike to innovation and all e new-fangled ways/ 
assisted to produce a certain apathetic repose, redeemed from sloth- 
fulness only by genuine good-nature. Mr Cheyne was a widower, 
and his young daughter had had the misfortune to lose her mother 
just when she was beginning to need most a mother's care and 
counsel. The squire had married late in life, Dorothy was the 
child of his old age, and the fair delicate girl so nearly resembled 
her deceased parent, that many a time and oft the tears coursed 
each other down the bereaved husband's furrowed cheeks, as 
he gazed on this sole treasure left to solace his declining years. 
The pleasant inheritance which had descended to Mr Cheyne 
from father to son in a long unbroken line, from various causes 
had been of late years much impoverished and diminished ; though 
it still afforded an income amply sufficient for all the moderate 
wants of one who found in his garden, his devotions, and the 
perusal of Evelyn's works, a fall source of quiet and healthful 
recreation, comfort, and enjoyment. The estate, indeed, was 
known to be much embarrassed; and it is probable that both 
Mr Cheyne and his fair daughter would have been suffered to 
vegetate in obscurity, unnoticed and uncourted by their more 
affluent neighbours, had not Dorothy's reputation as her mater- 
nal uncle's heiress secured for them a degree of attention which 
these primitive, contented, humble souls were far from desiring. 
Dorothy inherited from her parents an affectionate heart and a 
love of quiet, which had reconciled her to a life of seclusion, and 
inspired a dread of city crowds : indeed, her father's favourite 
quotation — 

' God the first garden made — and the first city, Cain/ 

she had learned to repeat with infinite gusto. 

Deepdean, Mr Cheyne's dwelling, resembled more an enlarged 
rustic cottage than a substantial family mansion ; yet it was 
substantial, and was capable of affording accommodation for a 
family, with a retinue of retainers more numerous than were to 
be found in the present proprietor's time. Grape-vines overspread 
it, roses and woodbine climbed to the eaves, or twisted knots of 
flowers round the casements ; as to the material it was composed 
of, whether stone, brick, or wood, it was impossible to discern, 
there not being a single speck uncovered with festooning greenery. 
It was extremely irregular in form, huge chimneyed and gabled ; 
and it stood in the midst of the smiling antique garden like a great 
summer-bower, always green, always fresh and sunny, even in 
mid- winter. But the Deepdean garden — the delicious quaint old 
garden — what words may describe or do justice to it? There 
were gray walls lined with apricots and plums, and straggling 
vines and luscious sun-burned peaches, with walks between close 
2 



MATHILDE. 



laurel-hedges, and beds of flowers bordered round with, miniature 
hedges of box ; here were spiked -lavender, pinks, stocks, and 
clove-carnations ; fruit-trees, trained espalier fashion, dropping* 
their ripened burdens on the paths; and out-of-the-way odd 
corners, filled with every herb the hygieist desires. There were 
holly-bushes, clipped into extravagant shapes of nondescript 
creatures ; patches of level emerald green-sward, turf softer than 
velvet, finer and richer; formal terraces, statues and fountains, 
old spreading chestnut-trees, bee-hives, sun-dials, and a pleasant 
fruit-bearing ravine, celebrated in the valley for its productive- 
ness. The place had been laid out in obsolete taste by some 
old-fashioned proprietor long', long ago ; and so it had been left, 
for the sake of association, or, it might be, idleness, or in the 
spirit of veneration for primitive perfection, which dwellers in 
secluded spots are prone to nurse. And none ever carried this 
veneration to a greater extent than did Mr Cheyne: he might 
have passed for an embodiment of the antique genius presiding 
over the solitary green vale of Deepdean, haunting the garden, 
and hiding in the green bowery dwelling. Nor was Dorothy 
an unapt illustration of one of those shadowy forms with which 
the ancients loved to people sylvan solitudes ; and the slight 
pale girl, gliding at twilig'ht hour among the fountains and 
flowers, or when the moon arose in solemn glory, bathing every 
object in mystic light, might have seemed a spiritual creation, till 
her merry laugh dispelled the illusion ; for Dorothy was of 
the earth, earthy, with faults as plentiful as those of any of Eve's 
fair daughters, although her doting sire accounted her as near 
perfection as the old garden, and that could not by possibility be 
improved. 

Tenderly and truly the young Dorothy returned all this lavish 
affection : she often felt it would be impossible for her to leave 
this fond father and this dear home ; and this feeling was 
strangely dominant, accompanied by tell-tale blushes, whenever 
a certain youth, named Francis Capel — second son of a wealthy 
baronet, their nearest neighbour — came to Deepdean ; and he 
came pretty often, too, being an ardent admirer of Evelyn, of 
the old garden, and of Dorothy — which last circumstance was 
viewed complacently by Mr Cheyne, as Francis was a fine, 
generous, good fellow, and a son-in-law after the squire's own 
heart. It seemed, indeed, as if the course of true love, in this 
particular case, was destined to run smooth : Sir John Capel 
viewing his son's attachment with approving eyes, for although 
Mr Cheyne V affairs were not in a flourishing condition, Dorothy 
was her Uncle Hardinge's presumed heiress, and Francis, as 
a second son, inherited only a few thousands in right of his 
deceased mother. The young folks had plenty of time before 
them — they were both children yet, said Sir John Capel — and 
although there was no positive engagement between them, it 
seemed an understood thing that sweet Dolly Cheyne and gallant 

3 



MATHILDE. 

Frank Capel were one day to become man and wife. Of this 
said Uncle Hardinge, little was known by Mr Cheyne or Dorothy ; 
he resided in the metropolis, principally at his club, was a ci-devant 
beau, entirely given up to selfish pursuits, and caring for nothing* 
beyond the narrow circle which formed his little world. In youth 
he had been a traveller, residing* much on the continent, from 
which he had imported many foreign habits and tastes. These were 
so uncongenial to Mr Cheyne, that the brothers-in-law seldom 
cared to meet, and slender intercourse was kept up between them 
during later years — Mr Cheyne abominating the town as Mr 
Hardinge did the country. Nevertheless, as all Mr Hardinge's 
fortune would descend to Dorothy, in the event of his dying with- 
out legitimate issue, and as he was a reputed bachelor, not in the 
least likely to enter the matrimonial state now, it may readily be 
surmised that he was a personage of vast importance to the country 
relatives, who regarded him as the beau-ideal of a finished courtier. 
Annual presents of bijoutry arrived at Deepdean for Dorothy, 
evidencing the fine taste of her uncle; and annual presents of 
gastronomic delicacies were despatched to the exquisite gourmand, 
who valued no gift equal to one that would excite his worn-out 
palate. The Deepdean hams, the Deepdean fowls, the Deepdean 
conserves, and the Deepdean herbal recipes, were all pronounced 
invaluable by the town gentleman ; and this interchange of good 
things being regularly kept up without personal contact, an excel- 
lent understanding was the result. Now, although Dorothy 
heartily desired long life for Uncle Hardinge, yet was she fully 
sensible of the benefits which would accrue from her accession of 
fortune on his demise ; and in the golden day-dreams to which this 
idea g^ave rise, there ever mingled, in association with her beloved 
father, another individual — need he be named I — the lover of her 
youth, the dark-eyed Francis Capel. 

Dorothy well knew her poor father's embarrassments — his 
frequent want of ready means — and she looked forward with 
yearning hope to the period when she might pour forth her golden 
treasures to neutralise all his anxieties and privations — to ward 
off every blast from his revered head, silvered with the snow of 
many a wintry storm. Dorothy was as shy and retiring as a 
timid fawn, but playful withal in the precincts of her own home, 
among those who knew and loved her ; but when, at intervals, she 
went forth to mix with her equals — particularly at Capel House — 
a proud reserved bearing, quiet and self-possessed, took the place 
of girlish diffidence. Intuitively, Dorothy knew that at Capel 
Flouse she was valued for the sake of Uncle Hardinge — by all 
save one : as the daughter of poor Mr Cheyne of Deepdean, she 
was nobody, despite ancient lineage and an untainted name ; but 
as the heiress of Mr Hardinge, the worn-out roue of fashion, she 
was feted, caressed, and received as a future daughter of the 
Capels. But, ah ! how the aspect of all things changed when 
she wandered with her father and Frank in the old garden ; how 

4 b ' 



MATHILDE. 

happy migiLt they three be there, just as they were — compara- 
tively poor, 

1 The world forgetting, by the world forgot.' 

This was what Frank said, and Frank was sincerity itself. To 
do the youth justice, he never thought of Dorothy's heirship, 
save in connection with his own family : for him she would have 
been best and dearest, had such a personage as Mr Hardinge 
never existed. But Frank well knew his father's way of thinking, 
and that Sir John Capel was a worshipper of Mammon ; not 
that Sir John was particularly hard-hearted or intolerant, but, 
like most fathers, he considered the prudent side when the settle- 
ment of his children was concerned. And who can blame him for 
parental vigilance and forethought, when not carried to an unfeeling 
extent 1 

i I have just received a letter, which I fear may summon me to 
the great Babel, Dolly, my dear/ said Mr Cheyne to his daughter 
one morning, in a state of evident excitement, which he vainly 
strove to check or conceal. i It is from Doctor Emslie, a friend of 
your uncle's, who writes to say that Mr Hardinge is labouring 
under a severe and sudden attack of stomachic gout, which causes 
much alarm and anxiety as to its ultimate termination. Doctor 
Emslie adds, that he thinks I ought to be present ; and he throws 
out a mysterious hint that my presence is absolutely necessary, in 
the event of my poor brother-in-law's decease, as there are family 
matters which require " explanation and arrangement." What 
can he mean, Dorothy, my dear 1 Don't you remember the name 
of Emslie, and hearing your uncle once speak of him as a learned 
and excellent physician, who had retired from active life, and 
resided somewhere in the lake-country 1 Ah ! Emslie, Emslie/ 
continued Mr Cheyne hesitatingly ; c your dear departed mother, 
Dorothy, my dear, knew Mrs Emslie very well, if I recollect 
rightly ; and Doctor Emslie and your uncle Hardinge were 
friends from youth, the latter having had it in his power to 
forward the doctor's views of advancement in his professional 
career: and no doubt Doctor Emslie has always felt under an 
obligation to him. But there is a sort of mystery in this letter 
which I don't comprehend, coming, as it does, from so honest- 
hearted an individual. I think, Dorothy, my dear, I had better 
attend to it immediately, and make the necessary preparations 
for a journey to the metropolis. It strikes me as being rather 
odd, that Doctor Emslie was sent for before me/ added Mr 
Cheyne, again hesitating and speaking slowly, as if trying to 
recollect past events, and string them together, for a link l in the 
chain was broken, and the old man's memory was sometimes 
treacherous. 

6 Perhaps, dear father/ replied Dorothy cheerfully, ' poor Uncle 
Hardinge wished to see him professionally, and has high con- 
fidence in his skill : let us earnestly hope he may yet recover and 
be spared for years to come.' 

5 



MATHILDE. 

c Nay, my dear/ replied lier father, shaking- his head, c that in 
the course of nature is scarcely possible : your uncle and I were 
born in the same year.' 

Here Dolly threw her arms round the speaker's neck, chiding 
him fondly for being \ so unkind as to speak so/ and hiding her 
tears on his shoulder. 

6 Well, well, my darling, for your sake I trust to be spared yet 
awhile/ said Mr Cheyne, caressing the fair head which rested 
beside him ; c but as for the circumstance you alluded to, of Mr 
Hardinge sending for Doctor Emslie professionally, that I do not 
believe to be the case, seeing that your uncle has for many years 
been under the care of a celebrated metropolitan practitioner, in 
whom he places implicit faith. No, no ; it is not for any such 
medical consultation your Uncle Hardinge needs the presence of 
Doctor Emslie. But I will set off for the scene myself, and have 
all mystery, which I abominate, cleared up. I cannot think what 
oppresses me, Dorothy, my dear, but, in connection with this 
Doctor Emslie and his mission, something weighs heavily at my 
heart, which I cannot shake oif. It is as if coming events cast 
their shadows before, and a great calamity were about to befall us.' 

c Ah ! dear father, you are merely disconcerted by the prospect 
of this journey to town, and leaving Deepdean for awhile ; and, 
then, anxiety for poor uncle is so natural, that I can account for 
these passing shadows.' And Dorothy tried to smile brightly, 
but the smile faded away into a tear, for she, too, was infected 
with a strange sadness ; and it seemed as if Dr Emslie's name 
had cast a spell over them both. 

Days of suspense passed away after Mr Cheyne's departure to 
attend the sick-bed of his suffering relative, for writing* was his 
aversion, and the short bulletins, containing daily hopes and fears, 
touched on no other topic than the sufferer's amendment or relapse. 
Dorothy was forced to content herself with these scraps ; and, 
fully prepared by the last accounts for those which were to follow, 
she at length, without surprise or violent emotion, received the 
notification of her uncle's death. This notification, however, spoke 
of feelings less equable : it was in Dr EmshVs handwriting, who, 
while assuring her of her father's perfect health, added that recent 
events had agitated him greatly, and rendered him incapable 
of exertion for the present. Dorothy, on the receipt of the letter, 
would have instantly set out to join her beloved parent, to ascertain 
with her own eyes that he was well ; but Dr Emslie added in a 
postscript, that Mr Cheyne proposed returning to Deepdean 
immediately after the funeral, and wished to defer the com- 
munication of important tidings until then. What could these 
tidings be ? Dorothy asked herself again and again. What had 
happened to agitate her father so keenly, and to prevent his writing 
to her in person? Conjecture was vain; but, restless and uneasy, 
haunted by vague apprehensions of sorrow in store for her, 
Dorothy eagerly counted the days until Mr Cheyne returned, 

6 



MATHILDE. 

when, clasped to the parental bosom once more, she almost 
forgot the anxiety in delight, until the change in her father's 
aspect caught her observation, and the shock occasioned a sudden 
revulsion of feeling. 

6 Father, dearest father ! 7 she exclaimed in dismay, ■ how 
haggard and wretched you look ! What is the matter ? There is 
something even beyond the natural grief for poor Uncle Hardinge 
here ! Tell me, dear father, what has happened to bow you down 
thus. You are ill — worn — the journey has been too much for 
you. 7 

' My poor girl ! ' sighed Mr Cheyne, c it has been too much for 
me ; but not in the way you imagine. I am wearied, but not in 
body : it is the mental powers which have been strained and over- 
taxed. I have ill news for you, my poor girl — a surprise — a 
painful one, Dorothy, my dear. Can you guess it 1 ' 

Dorothy trembled, and gazed into the old man's clear blue eyes. 
She read their tidings at a glance, for they were speaking eyes 
to Dorothy : she was so accustomed to watch her father's every 
look, to anticipate his every wish. ■ Father ! 7 she exclaimed 
in a low trembling voice, c I am not the heiress : say, am I 
mistaken ? 7 

6 You are not mistaken, my poor girl — my poor, poor girl ! The 
blow fell heavily, heavily on me at first ; but I am sustained, as 
you will be, my noble girl, by the knowledge that tardy justice is 
at length done to the innocent, the unoffending. Your uncle, 
Dorothy, my dear, has left two children to bear his name and to 
inherit his property. It is a bitter and a cruel disappointment for 
you, my darling; but God grant you strength to bear up, and 
conquer all selfish repining, when you hear the tale. 7 

Pale, speechless, tearless, Dorothy clung to her father, stupified 
and stunned by what she had heard. Like lightning her thoughts 
flew to Capel House. How would they receive her now 1 What 
would Francis do ? What would she do if they were separated ? 
All her air-built castles — all her plans for helping and comforting 
her father vanished away — all the charming dreams of the future 
dispelled ! It was a bitter cup : she could not dash it aside — it was 
to be drained to the dregs ; and silently poor Dorothy listened to 
the history her father proceeded cautiously to unfold ; and though 
most cautiously he proceeded, yet his fears were seriously aroused 
for the beloved child who, in mute attention, hung on his words : 
she seemed so frail a creature to battle with so chilling 1 a dis- 
appointment. Mr Cheyne thought, too, of Francis Capel, and 
his heart bled for the young pair. He knew Frank's 'worth, 
but he also knew Sir John's mammon-worship ; and the idea of 
Dorothy marrying into a family who did not wish to receive her, 
never for an instant entered the head of the worthy squire. This 
sweet first love-passage must end ; but Mr Cheyne grieved more 
like a young than an old man. Age does not often sympathise 
thus with youth ; and this bond of sympathy it was which had so 

7 



MATHILDE. 

firmly knit the affection of father and daughter. Together they 
had deplored the loss of the beloved wife and mother : their joys 
and sorrows were all shared in common ; and never since her birth 
had Dorothy concealed a thought from her fond parent. Though 
Mr Cheyne mourned the ending of this early love, yet he had 
looked forward so confidently to his child's future aggrandisement, 
that to give up all hope that it might still be accomplished was 
beyond his strength. He therefore proceeded to unfold the new 
page whereon the future was traced in dim perspective, and he did 
so with some trepidation as well as caution, for the future was very 
different from that which Dorothy had permitted herself to anti- 
cipate. Poor girl ! she did not exclaim : 6 It is very hard/ or ■ Very 
unjust; 7 but her silent anguish pierced the father's heart. She felt 
for his disappointment even more than for her own. But was it 
not still in her power to make amends for fortune's unkindness, 
and to restore peace and prosperity ? Might not the lost fortune 
still be hers on one condition 1 Ah, that condition ! There was 
the trial of her faith and submission ! 

During his travels abroad, it appeared that Mr Hardinge had 
been captivated by a beautiful foreigner, she being an orphan, the 
daughter of an artisan. No one imagined that the marriage- 
ceremony hallowed their affection, for it was kept a profound 
secret — a fact which doubtless originated in Mr Harding-e being 
rather ashamed of his wife's inferiority in point of rank ; a false 
shame, indeed, which imputed no shame to supposed guilt. After 
the birth of two children, a girl and a boy, continued bickerings 
began to imbitter his domestic peace ; and this, added to 
disgraceful conduct on the part of his wife, led him to return to 
England in company with his two children, leaving Mrs Harding-e 
to pursue her career of dissipation in her own land. Fortunately 
perhaps for them both, this evil career soon terminated, the unhappy 
and misguided woman being carried off suddenly by infectious 
fever. Mr Hardinge determined never to acknowledge his miser- 
able marriage, but to place his offspring where they would live 
unknown, and never to remove the stigma which rested upon 
their birth. It was Dr and Mrs Emslie who undertook the 
charge of the motherless children. The doctor was under obli- 
gations to Mr Harding-e, who had been to him a firm disinte- 
rested friend ; and gladly he repaid the debt of gratitude by 
fostering the children, whose very first entrance on the stage of 
life had been under false colours. Neither Dr nor Mrs Emslie 
was acquainted with the truth : they regarded Mathilde and her 
brother Gervase as the offspring of shame, and always considered 
Mr Hardinge's conduct most generous towards beings so unhap- 
pily circumstanced. Having no family of their own, the poor 
children became to them objects of the most tender interest and 
solicitude. Lavish means were provided by Mr Hardinge, who, 
however, never openly came forward to acknowledge them, and 
Mathilde and Gervase were brought up in the belief that they 

8 



MATHILDE. 

were orphans. Whilst Br Emslie deprecated the sin, and lamented 
over the sinner, he was too sincere a Christian to visit on the 
heads of the unoffending* children the crime imputed to their 
parents. He watched over them sedulously, while the exemplary 
Mrs Emslie performed the real mother's parfy until death removed 
her to a better world. 

But when the time of Mr Hardinge's departure approached, all 
things in this sublunary scene assumed a changed aspect — the 
sins of his youth wore a deeper dye, and rose up in fearful array 
to upbraid and terrify. The dying man sent for Dr Emslie, and 
confided to him the fact of having executed a will, wherein was 
specified the legitimacy of his children, and the indisputable proof 
of his marriage with their mother, together with full directions 
for their future guidance. Dr Emslie was of course greatly 
astonished; and notwithstanding that he rejoiced at the good which 
accrued to those so clear to him, yet he felt for the disappointment 
which must inevitably result when Mr Cheyne was made acquainted 
with the truth. To unfold this startling truth was Dr Emslie's 
very painful duty; and Mr Cheyne arrived only in time to hear 
it corroborated by Mr Hardinge, who, fully sensible to the last, 
asked his brother-in-law's forgiveness for the deception he had 
practised; adding, in disjointed sentences: 'But all things may 
yet be well. Gervase is a good lad. Tell Dorothy it is my dying* 
wish that she ' 

The unfinished wish was fully elucidated in the will. Gervase, 
who wanted a few months of completing his twenty-first year, 
was named sole legatee of his deceased father's large property, on 
one condition — namely, that within six months after he attained 
his majority, he espoused his cousin Dorothy Cheyne. In the 
event of their not marrying within the prescribed period — no 
matter from which side the demur proceeded — then the whole 
property passed to Mathilde, who was her brother's senior by 
three years. 

Moreover, the will specified that Mathilde and Gervase were to 
reside at Deepdean, beneath Mr Cheyne's roof, until the allotted 
period expired ; removing thither forthwith, for the purpose of 
affording the cousins ample opportunities of ■ cementing a friend- 
ship/ which Mr Hardinge trusted would be c lasting and sincere,' 
and for their * temporal and eternal benefit. 7 This was a strange 
expression from one who had thought so little about eternity ; but 
the approach of our last enemy works miracles, even on the most 
stubborn and obdurate heart. And so it was with Mr Hardinge : 
his had been an eleventh-hour repentance ; and tardy justice at 
length was yielded to the innocent victims of a father's folly and 
a mother's misconduct. 

1 And so they are coming here, dear father/ said Dorothy, pale 
and trembling- ; < these strangers are coming to our quiet home. 
Methinks they are like birds of ill-omen, descending- on a sheltered 
nook, where the old nest lies hidden anions the leaves. Ah ! we 

51 9 



MATHILDE. 

do not want them, dear father, we have been so happy together — 
there is no room in our old nest for them ! ' 

■ My child/ murmured Mr Cheyne, embracing' his daughter, 
'we have no choice — unless, indeed, you reject these unknown 
cousins altogether. They are to be pitied, not scorned ;^and you 
may learn to love them, Dorothy, my dear. Your cousin Gervase 
is very handsome and spirited, Doctor Emslie says.' 

Dorothy flushed scarlet ; her thoughts were with Frank Capel, 
and how he would bear this heavy blow, so fatal to their cherished 
hopes. Mr Cheyne understood the sign, and turned away with a 
heavy sigh ; for an accumulation of embarrassing annoyances in 
his pecuniary affairs did not tend to lighten the shadow now cast 
over the future. He had counted so positively on assistance from 
Mr Hardinge's property to free Dorothy, on his own decease, from 
all family involvements, that now he felt overwhelmed, and incap- 
able of any mental exertion. How dreadful it would be to leave 
this beloved child to comparative poverty and all its attendant ills ; 
she, who had scarcely ever left the precincts of that peaceful valley 
— whose young life had glided onwards, amid the shaded walks 
and alleys of that dear old garden, just like the tranquil stream 
that irrigated the adjacent pastures and fed the sparkling foun- 
tains. To this quiet garden Mr Cheyne betook himself for repose 
and comfort. It is very soothing and sedative, when the mind 
is perplexed, and tossed, and overwearied, to go forth into some 
lonely pathway of a secluded garden, there to pace to and fro 
unobserved by mortal eyes, inhaling the pure air, drinking in 
sweet sights and sounds— the garden hum, the garden glories— and 
so to let painful thought be diluted, as it were, and become therefore 
less bitter to the taste. Dorothy left her father much alone in his 
well-loved haunt : she knew by experience that it was delicious 
sometimes to be alone there ; and she fervently trusted the panacea 
might prove in some measure adequate to relieve his distressed 
mind. But with dismay unutterable she looked forward to the 
arrival of her cousins : they were expected shortly at Deepdean, 
and long ere they arrived, the news had spread far and wide of the 
changed aspect of affairs with Mr Cheyne and his fair daughter ; 
while at Capel House the consternation was universal — Sir John 
looking portentous and solemn ; and Frank, at once galloping 
over to learn the truth from Mr Cheyne, and to prostrate himself 
at his mistress's feet with more ardour and devotion than when 
she was the reputed heiress of tens of thousands. 

But this state of matters was not suffered to continue long ; Mr 

Cheyne came to an understanding at once with Sir John Capel on 

the subject of Frank's addresses to Dorothy. Sir John (for him) 

behaved quite nobly — assuring Mr Cheyne of his high respect for 

the whole race of Cheynes, and for the squire and Dorothy in 

particular ; but candidly confessing his own inability to portion 

off younger sons, so as to enable them to marry without fortune 

on the lady's side. Mr Cheyne, whose heart was simple and 
10 



MATHILDE. 

sensitive, felt so much gratified at Sir John's kind and flattering* 
expressions, that he also candidly confessed that it was his wish 
to see Dorothy well settled, the pecuniary circumstances of the 
Cheynes not being so flourishing* as they once were. In short? 
Sir John Capel understood Mr Cheyne to mean, that his daughter 
should fulfil the condition of her deceased uncle's will. There- 
upon the two fathers shook hands heartily, and praised each 
other's judgment ; lauding also poor Frank and Dorothy as the 
finest young couple that ever lived, and lamenting the impossibility 
of their union. It was agreed, however, that Frank's visits to 
Deepdean must be discontinued, or tolerated only at rare intervals ; 
Sir John hinting, that, in the course of a few months, there was a 
probability of Frank obtaining a diplomatic appointment abroad — 
as attache, or something of that kind. 

Thus everything was settled to the satisfaction of the two elders ; 
but it so happened that Frank, who was a hot-headed fellow, 
determined to judge for himself, and, in the true lover-like style, 
importuned Dorothy to do so likewise, and to marry him forth- 
with, in order to make things c certain and straightforward,' as 
he wisely observed. But Dorothy turned a deaf ear to all his 
pleadings, although they were remarkably eloquent. She desired 
him never to address her so again, as she was determined never 
to marry without the full consent and approbation both of his 
father and her own. Dorothy wept when she said all this, and 
Frank did not believe her ; but in the course of time he became 
convinced that she had spoken what she meant, for he could 
by no stratagem succeed in gaining private speech with her, and 
he found her firm resolution of adhering* to the line of duty 
and obedience was not to be shaken. Even Sir John Capel 
admitted that their case was not a common one, and expressed 
commiseration for the parted lovers, for their attachment had 
been distinctly approved and encouraged ; and now the rude seve- 
rance was exacted, just as if two fond hearts might be tossed hither 
and thither like playthings ! Poor Frank stormed and raved, 
declared he was the most ill-used man in the world, and that he 
had been treated shamefully. Sir John's moderation and silence 
tended, however, to mollify his son's exasperation ; nor could 
Frank help owning, that to carry off Dorothy at present would 
not only be an act of the highest imprudence, but cruelly selfish 
towards her ; as such a proceeding must inevitably entail misery 
on the delicate and tenderly nurtured girl ; so little inured or 
able to bear up against the rubs of life — the rubs which poverty 
renders inevitable. 

A letter from Dr Emslie, couched in most delicate and feeling 

terms, announced the near approach of those whom he called his 

1 dear adopted children.' The worthy man evidently shunned 

interference with aught appertaining to, or bearing on, the late 

Mr Hardinge's will ; but there was a tone throughout his letter 

which shewed how deeply he felt for Dorothy's disappointment. 

11 



MATHILDE. 

He said little of Gervase, but he commended Mathilde to Dorothy's 
6 great love/ and he touched on parting- with her with more 
solemnity than the occasion seemed to warrant. But then 
< Doctor Emslie was an old man/ said Mr Cheyne, with tears in 
his own eyes meanwhile, ' and Mathilde was to him, no doubt, as 
an only daughter 7 — looking fondly and proudly on Dorothy, who 
sat near him. 

' O father/ said Dorothy wistfully, c do you not think that 
Doctor Emslie asks too much of poor human nature, when he 
requires me to bestow great love on my cousin Mathilde ? 7 

c It is asking a great deal, my poor girl/ responded Mr Cheyne; 
1 but Doctor Emslie, depend on it, has his reasons for what he does, 
for he is a singularly gifted, wise, and, above all, a truly pious 
man. When he spoke of Mathilde to me, which was but once, 
there was an air of sadness, nay, almost of solemnity in his tone 
and manner, which made a deep impression on me at the time. 
Of Gervase, he speaks as a light-hearted boy — or almost a boy ; 
and when he commends Mathilde to you, Dorothy, my dear, I 
cannot but think there is some hidden meaning attached to the 
simple words — for Doctor Emslie, as I have said, is not a man to 
say or write anything destitute of meaning. 7 

'Well, dear father, I will try and be kind at anyrate to this 
unknown cousin/ signed Dorothy. c I will pray not to hate her. 7 

( My dear, dear child/ said Mr Cheyne, folding her to his 
heart, i it is not in your nature to hate anything. 7 

Dorothy, by always alluding only to Mathilde, plainly told Mr 
Cheyne that she considered her the ultimate possessor of the 
property — poor Dorothy unawares thus laying bare the secret 
counsels of her own little constant loving' heart. 

' Well/ said Mr Cheyne in soliloquy, with his hands behind his 
back, sauntering up and clown his favourite shaded walk — i well, 
I never will press my child to marry against her own inclination ; 
and if she is averse to wed her cousin Gervase when she comes to 
know him, God's will be done — I must leave her to Mathilde's 
care when I go 7 



II. 

To most young women, Mathilde 7 s position at Deepdean would 
have been a most trying one. An unwelcome guest — an inter- 
loper in every sense of the word — forced upon unknown relatives, 
and robbing them of an inheritance, unless indeed the inclinations 
of Gervase and Dorothy inclined them to matrimony, which on 
one side at least seemed unlikely. But it was difficult for any of 
the inmates of Deepdean to say in what her influence consisted — ■ 
in what way her presence seemed to shed over them a peculiar 
peace and sunshine — not of this world certainly, for Mathilde was 

unworldly in the strictest sense of the term. The deathly pallor 
12 



MATHILDE. 

of her countenance startled and pained Dorothy, until Mathilde 
assured her it was a habitual pallor, unaccompanied by pain or 
prostration of strength. Her features were small and pleasing-, 
but it was the air of perfect repose and placidity which rendered 
it so refreshing" to survey them. Perhaps the large dark eyes 
which illumined these features with a soft and moonlight kind 
of radiance, added to the beholder's pleasure. The repose was 
heavenly — so serious, so sweet, so gracious — it was impossible not 
to believe that this gentle woman communed often and much with 
a higher world. How such a depth of seriousness, such a sad gra- 
vity, did not partake in the least of moodiness, or chill those with 
whom Mathilde was thrown into contact, can only be accounted 
for by her total forgetfulness of self — by her unremitting, winning 
kindness to all within her sphere — by her undeviating truthful- 
ness, grace, and love. That some overruling secret principle 
swayed and governed her every thought, word, and action, was 
obvious. One might have supposed her manner to be the expres- 
sion of suffering, either past or present, or that some extraordinary 
revelation of futurity had been vouchsafed to this meek daughter 
of earth ; but conjectures were as vain as they were dim and 
vague. The most matter-of-fact minds, however, succumbed 
before her to some unowned and mystic influence ; and people of 
the world with unwillingness admitted that, in Mathilde's presence, 
their all-absorbing pursuits seemed to dwindle into nothingness. 
She always managed to lead them away from the grovelling 
earth; and they intuitively felt that, although she was in the 
world, performing all practical duties, she was not of it. Dorothy 
was puzzled to account for her own sensations when Mathilde, with 
simple, affectionate earnestness, took her hand and said : 'Do not 
regard me as an ill-omened bird, Cousin Dorothy, but rather as 
the swallow, bringing summer weather on the wing, that will soon 
take flight again for summer lands.' Dorothy vainly tried to utter 
commonplaces, but the words died away in the effort, for Mathilde's 
eyes were fastened on her face. Mathilde silently awaited her 
speech ; and angry with herself, angry with her wan and placid 
cousin, poor Dorothy burst into a paroxysm of tears. Mathilde 
allowed her to weep unrestrainedly for awhile, then passing her 
arm tenderly round her drooping* form, she said in a low sweet 
voice : 6 1 know all you must feel towards me, but for your good 
father's sake, cheer up ; it is your duty to render his home as 
happy as circumstances permit. Believe me, Cousin Dorothy, I 
feel for you.' 

These words were heartfelt and heart-spoken ; and they went 
straight to poor weeping Dolly's little throbbing heart : she 
began to think how impossible it would be to absolutely hate 
Mathilde. As to the great love of which Dr Emslie had written, 
that was quite another matter ; but that some very extraordinary 
fascination lurked around this new-found relative was certain. 
Mathilde was at ease, tranquil, and graceful, while constraint, which 

13 



MA.THILDE. 

slie could not shake off, chained Dorothy to silence and reserve. 
Gervase, on the other hand, presented such a striking* contrast to 
his sister, that Dorothy almost forgot his claim, and soon began 
to laugh and talk with him unrestrainedly. He was, like a great 
overgrown school-boy, very awkward ; but with a fine handsome 
face, ruddy cheeks, white teeth, and smiling blue eyes. Gervase 
seemed quite afraid of Dorothy at first, very much as if he 
dreaded a whipping ; but by degrees they became the best friends 
in the world, for morose, indeed, must that creature have been 
who could have resisted the good nature and infectious gaiety of 
the hobbledehoy. To his sister, Gervase looked up as to a supe- 
rior being, and it was quite touching and beautiful to behold his 
brotherly affection, whilst she, on her part, regarded him with 
unceasing solicitude and earnestness ; gently, oh, so very gently, 
curbing his hilarious spirits, and keeping him in chains of roses 
within the bounds of conventional propriety. As to Gervase, he 
did not look more than seventeen; and Dorothy, although two 
years his junior, felt so much seniority, and so much experience and 
self-possession, that she soon began to regard him as a mere boy, 
quite forgetting that he was nearly twenty-one, and, according to 
her uncle's will, her future husband. 

It was not long before Gervase confided to Dorothy, whom he 
had learned to designate as his i fair coz,' the first wish of his 
heart — which was to enter the army, and to see service. This 
wish had strengthened with his growth, but Dr Emslie had not 
encouraged or fostered it, and Mr Hardinge had lived in uncer- 
tainty regarding his children's ultimate prospects, always procras- 
tinating till to-morrow what ought to have been done to-day. 
Dorothy listened to the martial visions of her good-humoured 
cousin, and her sympathies were all enlisted in his favour; and 
the sympathy and smiles together proved so genial and charming 
to the raw youth, that his increasing show of fondness for Cousin 
Doll at length quite perplexed the latter, nor was her perplexity 
lessened when one day Gervase blundered out something about 
what he would do when they were l spliced. 7 

c What do you mean, Gervase, by being spliced 1 ' innocently 
demanded the simple Dolly. 

f Oh ! what a goose you are, Cousin Doll/ replied Gervase 
laughing : * don't you know what spliced means ? Why, it means 
married, to be sure. You and I are to be married whenever I am 
of age, you know; and when I'm off soldiering, I shall leave 
Matty to take care of you.' 

Poor Dorothy was not confused by this process of wooing, but 
she was startled and dismayed ; with difficulty she articulated : 
* But, Gervase, you have never asked me yet if I wish to marry 
you : suppose I do not, what then 1 ' 

Gervase looked at her in blank surprise, ejaculating : i Why, 
Cousin Dorothy, I thought it was a settled thing before we came 
here. I thought you'd be a fine lady — airified and all that, and 

14 



MATHILDE. 

I was terribly afraid of you at first. I am always afraid of fine 
misses ! But when I found you such a nice, smiling*, good-natured 
little creature ? — here he sidled towards Dorothy, and endeavoured 
to pass his arm round her waist, but Dorothy in her turn edged 
off — t why, then, I was all right and comfortable, and made my 
mind easy, and determined to say nothing to any one until the 
time arrived when we could be married all quietly and nicely: 
and now you are for a put-off, Cousin Doll. I declare it is very 
unkind of you ; that it is. 7 

Dorothy could scarcely refrain from laughing at this pathetic 
appeal, but striving to look serious, she merely rejoined : ? This is 
a grave subject, Gervase, and involves other interests than ours. 
We will not pursue it at present. 7 

c Very well, very well, Dorothy dear, just as you like ; that is 
what Mathilde said when I alluded to our marriage the other day. 
Do you know, Cousin Doll, that, between ourselves, if I didn't 
know for a certainty that Matty loves me, and isn 7 t selfish, I 
should really begin to believe she wasn 7 t altogether so much in 
favour of our coming together as she ought to be ; not that she 
ever said so, in a direct way, but that in her manner there is a 
something or another which I cannot make out, but which seems 
to express a wish that , you and I, Dorothy dear, should not 
have much to say to one another. I cannot make it out, because 
Mathilde, I 7 m certain, does not care for the fortune; and you 
know that if we don 7 t marry, and that soon, it all goes to her— 
Hardinge Hall and all ! 1 7 ve heard that Hardinge Hall is a fine 
old place ; what rare doings we would have there ! Hey, Cousin 
Dorothy, hey ! 7 

' When you return from the wars victorious ! hey, Cousin 
Gervase ! 7 cried Dorothy, laughing and running away. 

Now, although Dorothy laughed and mimicked Gervase, yet she 
felt the truth of what he said, for she, too, had become impressed 
with the indefinable conviction, that Mathilde was averse to her 
union with Gervase. There was a spice of obstinacy or Tony 
Lumpkin self-willedness about the lad, which required much 
humouring and management ; and if he had found out that his 
sister wished to lead or sway him on such a grave question, he would 
have been resolute to have his own way, if only for the purpose 
of shewing that he was ' every inch a man. 7 Therefore Mathilde 
was very cautious, very gentle in all her proceedings with her 
brother; and yet he was so unconsciously accustomed to watch 
her looks, to read their meaning, and to depend on her advice, that 
he had intuitively gained the knowledge disclosed in his conversa- 
tion with Dorothy — the knowledge that Mathilde disapproved of 
the condition which kept the fortune from herself! Dorothy felt 
that Mathilde watched her, and also that Mathilde read her secret 
heart. Frank Capel had paid one of the formal visits, which were 
not prohibited, in company with Sir John, when Mr Cheyne, with 
courteous and gratified demeanour, received both father and son. 

15 



MATHILDE. 

The visit was a lengthened one ; luncheon was eaten, the garden 
viewed and commended ; and Frank, the moment he beheld Gervase, 
lost all his previous hauteur, and entered into a friendly alliance 
with the delighted youth, who declared Frank Capel to be the 
best fellow in the world. 

But Mathilde was present also. She afterwards spoke of Frank 
to Dorothy — and it was sufficient : from that time henceforth, she 
silently watched and waited ; she had a painful and harassing part 
to act, and on Dorothy's faithfulness and constancy only to rely. 
If Dorothy was true to Frank, then the fortune would be hers. 
Who might read the secrets of Mathilde's heart, or penetrate the 
dark mysterious shadows which shrouded them ? When Dorothy, 
with woman's fine tact, found that Mathilde endeavoured fur- 
tively to impress her mind with a sense of the misery she would 
entail on herself by marrying Gervase, whom she could not love 
or respect with the love and respect a wife ought to feel for her 
husband, then were Dorothy's suspicions aroused, and she began to 
doubt Mathilde — almost to despise her — saying to herself : i Can 
it be, with so heavenly an exterior, that the interior is defiled 
with mammon- worship 1 ; 

Sir John Capel gave a general invitation to Gervase to visit at 
Capel House — a licence which the youth was not slow to avail 
himself of, as he had no companions of his own sex; and in Frank 
Capel and his younger brothers, George and Adolphus, he found 
congeniality in many respects, particularly in the latter — Frank 
very cavalierly turning him over to them whenever the martial 
youth bored him too much. Smilingly he encouraged Gervase 
to talk of Cousin Dolly. Frank had no fears now ; and from 
having been prepared to hate his rival, the sudden revulsion of 
feeling caused by his appearance and manner almost ripened into 
a sentiment of affection. Gervase confided to Frank that lie wasn't 
quite sure of Dorothy : she was a kind little soul, to be sure, but 
still he wasn't quite sure whether she meant to take him. Frank 
smiled, but held his peace. Mr Cheyne had not thought it neces- 
sary to enlighten either Gervase or Mathilde on the matter of 
Frank's attachment to his daughter. Gervase would have groped 
his way blindly on till doomsday ; Mathilde read the secret at a 
glance. 

In the meanwhile, who would have imagined that the quiet 
greenwood-bower in Deepdean Valley contained within its bosom 
such conflicting interests and opinions — such elements of pain and 
pleasure, of romance and reality? Still did Mr Cheyne pace 
undisturbedly the sequestered nooks of the pleasant garden ; still 
did he pore over the pages of Evelyn, and lament the degeneracy 
of modern taste ; but the squire was more aged, more bent than 
of yore ; the lines in his fine old face were deepening, and his 
sighs were frequent and audible, as he gazed round his beloved 
ancestral domain. He had received many letters of late — many 
which amazed and perplexed him sorely, despite all his efforts to 

16 



v MATHILDE. 

treat them lightly ; and when Dorothy pressed to know the con- 
tents, to divide his anxiety or to sympathise in his sorrows, he 
maintained a silence that alarmed and surprised her, accustomed 
as she was to be the sharer in all her dear father's joys and griefs. 
But too truly poor Dolly guessed what these business-like letters 
portended, with such large blue envelopes and such large red 
seals. Her father, too, always tied them together with pink tape, 
and deposited them in a safe corner of his old escritoire, as if glad 
to put them out of his sight. Alas! poor gentleman, he could 
not so easily put them out of his mind. And by stealth Dorothy 
gained the information, that unless she became the wife of her 
cousin Gervase, and consequently the sharer of Mr Hardinge's 
property, it was more than probable that Mr Cheyne's creditors 
would rebel, and the accumulated debts of the family fall on his 
head with ruinous force. Dorothy could not comprehend the 
business-terms of the lawyer's epistles, but she comprehended 
enough to know that, even if her father weathered the storm 
during his lifetime, she must be left destitute and homeless. 
But for him only did she feel anxiety : once assured of her 
beloved father's wellbeing during his term of life, she felt no 
care on her own account. He never alluded to her union with 
her cousin Gervase, but endeavoured to keep from her knowledge 
the burden of sorrow that chased sleep from his heavy eyes. 
This generosity went to Dorothy's tender heart, and often she 
wept alone, and besought the All-Merciful to guide her in the 
best way. 

Mathilde kept much in her own chamber, and seldom came 
forth until evening", when, it being summer-time, she sought the 
garden, and rarely quitted it till twilight deepened and the moon 
and stars shone forth. Mathilde had never intruded on Dorothy's 
withheld confidence, by attempts at intimate communion, such as 
female friends sometimes like to indulge in ; but yet Dorothy was 
sensible of an unseen power, wielded by no common hand, which 
influenced Gervase, and kept all his demonstrations towards herself 
in abeyance. Dorothy began to hate her wan silent cousin — to 
feel an awe of her, which she could not account for ; and more 
than once she almost determined to spite Mathilde by wedding 
Gervase oif hand. But then, again, her womanly and better 
feelings predominated ; and she revolted from the indelicacy, 
as well as the deadlv sin, of swearing obedience and love at 
the altar to one, when her heart, if not her plighted troth, was 
another's. 

Thus things continued, when Gervase attained his twenty-first 
year. There were no rejoicings, no f eastings, to celebrate the 
day, but congratulatory words and kind smiles from the several 
members of the domestic circle, who all seemed tacitly to unite in 
passing it over with as little remark as possible. Dorothy often 
wondered to herself if the following allotted six months would be 
allowed to pass over in this dreamy and mvsterious wav ; and if 

17 



MATHILDE. 

Mathilde, in the same sort of fashion, would quietly glide into the 
golden heaps awaiting* her at the end. * What other reason can 
she have for not wishing* Gervase to marry me, than that she 
covets the thousands herself?' said Dorothy musingly; but she 
mused in the garden, where the trim holly-hedges offered no 
response, and the question remained unanswered even by echo. 
Yet it was almost impossible to believe that sordid avarice swayed 
the grave recluse, whose striking loveliness of person, lofty expres- 
sion, and winning gentleness of demeanour, conveyed a far 
different impression. The avowed predisposition of Gervase for 
military pursuits gained ground in a wonderful ratio since his 
appearance at Capel House. George and Adolphus Capel were 
destined for the same i glorious routine/ as Gervase designated 
it; and Frank Capel told him, that his figure and face could 
only be shewn to advantage in gold-facings and a plumed cap. 
Gervase was, in short, ' soldiering mad, 7 the peasants declared ; 
and he had taken possession of an old broadsword of Mr Cheyne's, 
with which he hacked and hewed at the quickset -hedges in 
by-places, as he said, for the sake of practice. Those who forgot 
the attraction of a red coat, would have taken him to be a most 
blood-thirsty youth, from his always avowing how much he 
4 longed to tight in good earnest; 7 an avowal which his broad 
good-natured face completely belied. Dorothy began to think 
that soldiering had driven splicing out of her cousin's simple 
head ; and, despite her anxiety and wretchedness on her father's 
account, she could scarcely refrain from smiling at the somewhat 
ludicrous position in which she stood. For it seemed probable 
that, if she contemplated securing the fortune and Gervase 
together, she must turn wooer, and remind the tardy youth 
of time being on the wing. However, it was unjust to Gervase 
to suppose that he had not his own boyish code of honour ; he had 
no objection to becoming the fair Dorothy's husband within the 
given time, provided he might be permitted to follow the bent of 
his own inclinations afterwards, and not be bored beforehand. 
Yet he lingered, unwilling to speak — half ashamed, half not caring 
to hear Dolly say, 'No:' 'for a fortune was a fortune,' argued 
Gervase wisely ; ' and better kept in one's own hands than sup- 
posed to s^lide into another's, even though that other was 
Mathilde.' 

Mr Cheyne, patient and inert as he most assuredly was, was 
yet a gentleman — a gentleman of high and sensitive principles — 
and, moreover, a doting father; and when he considered the 
time fully ripe for speech, speak plainly he did, coming speedily 
to the point, and to a clear understanding with the young folks. 
6 My child,' he said, addressing Dorothy, ' the time has now 
arrived when it is necessary for you to come to a decision respect- 
ing the condition prescribed in your late Uncle Hardinge's will, 
relative to a marriage with your cousin Gervase. Is it your 
intention to comply with that condition ? I have had speech with 



MATHILDE. 

your cousin, and he is eager to fulfil it forthwith. I must convey 
your final answer to him.' 

'O father! what am I to do?' murmured Dorothy, weeping*. 
c What are your wishes, dear father ? By them I will abide, if — 
if I can' 

Here a fresh burst of weeping checked further words, and Mr 
Cheyne, looking* commiseratingly on the bowed lily, impressively 
said : i My wishes, my beloved child, are solely for your happiness, 
temporal and eternal. If you can love your cousin Gervase — 
if there is no reservation in your mind respecting him — then, 
assuredly, it seems to my short-sightedness best for your temporal 
welfare to espouse him. But perish the fortune rather than you 
should be forsworn, Dorothy Cheyne! Your sainted mother 
would gaze down from heaven reprovingly upon me, were I to 
urge you to commit this great sin against God. To Him I com- 
mend my fatherless girl, when it pleases Him to summon me 
home. 7 Mr Cheyne had spoken with unwonted energy and 
decision, but his voice faltered, and the tears stood in his eyes, 
when he added in a lower voice : ' And now, Dorothy, my dear 
child, in His name I entreat, nay, I command you, to give me a 
candid answer.* 

Throwing herself into her father's arms, the trembling girl 
whispered : \ I will stay with you, father. Tell Mathilde the 
fortune is hers ! ' 

A half-sigh, stifled by strong resolution, broke from Mr Cheyne : 
the hope of years was annihilated. He spoke not, but silently 
embracing his agitated daughter, endeavoured to assume a com- 
posure he was far from feeling ; and never had Mr Cheyne felt 
his powers of endurance and forbearance more sorely taxed, than 
when, called upon to perform the duties of a courteous and kind 
host to the grave Mathilde, whose lovely countenance lit up with 
an expression of delight when informed of Dorothy's decision. 
This unusual animation nettled and armoyed the old squire to a 
great degree, and unconsciously he ejaculated — for he had acquired 
a habit of speaking much to himself : c My poor beggared girl ! 
it is bitter to see a stranger step into the golden slippers you 
expected to wear ! ' 

A gentle tap on the shoulder caused him to start, and looking 
round he beheld Mathilde's pale face close to his shoulder, her 
dark eyes intently regarding him, while softly the words fell 
from her lips, as she placed a hand impressively on his arm : c It 
is true that I rejoice at Dorothy Cheyne's noble resolve; but 
judge me not harshly for this. We are told not to judge, lest we 
be judged.' With impressive sweetness she spoke, and Mr 
Cheyne was fairly puzzled. He had always regarded Mathilde 
with emotions of curiosity and interest, but she so completely 
baffled conjecture, that in this instance, as in many others, the 
worthy old man contented himself with merely gallantly bowing, 
and apologising for his bad habit of thinking aloud. Yet the 

19 



MATHILDE. 

wan face, and the dark speaking" eyes, haunted him when 
alone, and he vainly wished that he could comprehend Mathilde's 
character and motives of action. 

As to Gervase, he loudly and clamorously expressed his chagrin 
and disappointment when his cousin's final rejection was com- 
municated to him by Mr Cheyne ; yet he stood in the somewhat 
ludicrous predicament of not wishing to exhibit his disappointment 
before Mathilde, declaring- to Mr Cheyne with boyish earnestness, 
that he had not a farthing* of his own in the world to purchase a 
commission with, so now he must look to Matty, and trust to her 
liberality. 



III. 

There was an evident and palpable accession of affectionate 
regard in Mathilde's demeanour towards poor Dorothy after 
these events. Mathilde sought Dorothy's society, but she was 
received with coldness — for human nature was not proof against 
this corroboration of the suspicion of mercenary motives. Dorothy 
would not barter her own faith; but this was no reason why 
she should not feel a jealous pang at Mathilde's carrying off 
the thousands she had lost. Mathilde's assiduous kindness she 
attributed to self-complacency and triumph; Mathilde's gentle 
meekness and endurance of suspicion, to a consciousness of selfish- 
ness and duplicity. But Mathilde was persevering, and not to be 
easily cast aside ; and Dorothy, with a pang of self-reproach, 
marked the patient sweetness so ill requited, and a rare and silent 
tear, the only reproof Mathilde gave way to. Dorothy's opinion 
began to waver, for she had a tender heart ; her reserve by 
degrees relaxed ; and when Mathilde spoke of herself, of her past 
history, Dorothy no longer turned a deaf ear. Imperceptibly 
this interest in Mathilde deepened, as general discussions were 
abandoned, and more of the heart-history laid open. Many such 
conversations recurred, and Dorothy with conflicting emotions 
listened to the recital of her sorrows. 

\ I owe you some recompense, cousin,' the latter proceeded 
mournfully, i for the disappointment you have endured ; and as 
I wish you to cherish my memory with some degree of pity 
and affection when we separate, a narrative of my simple history 
may perhaps sufficiently account for my regarding a marriage 
of convenience with dismay, and explain my wish to prevent 
your union with my dear and only brother, when your heart 
is in the keeping of another. We become strangely, luminously 
clear-sighted, Dorothy Cheyne, when our lamp is lit by expe- 
rience and observation ! Your decision on the side of truth and 
constancy won my love and respect. Even if you had acted 
differently, it was my intention to have interfered, in order to save 

you both: although, in that case, this confidence on my part 
20 



MATHILDE. 

would never have been obtruded on your ear. The fortune is 
mine, and I have wept with joy and gratitude to know that it 
is so. You marvel at my words ! Yes, I have wept with joy 
and gratitude to know it is mine ! I repeat it ! To know that 
my only brother is saved the life-long wretchedness of receiving 
false vows, and polluting the holy altar with the presence of a 
perjured bride! I was once a gay and thoughtless girl — far 
gayer, far more thoughtless than you, fair Dorothy; for there 
is an air of quaint and old-fashioned sweet demureness about 
you, such as there is over the dear old garden itself. I have 
told you that a fond mother's caresses were lavished on me by 
Mrs Emslie, and that I never knew the want of a real mother's 
indulgent fondness; and believing myself to be an orphan, I 
repaid her love with the affection of a child. I was a precocious 
girl : my southern maternal ancestry accounted for this. I was 
little more than sixteen, when, being on a visit for the benefit 
of sea-air with a relative of Mrs Emslie's, I met with an indi- 
vidual who soon addressed me in the language of love. I listened 
to 'him as you listened to Francis Capel, and no dissentient voice 
was raised to check the progress of our young love-dream. Nay, 
on the contrary, I was esteemed a thrice-fortunate girl, to have 
won the regard of one whose great worldly advantages were 
more than equalled by his superiority of mind and person. Ah ! 
those were brilliant days ! Happy days ! when life was in its 
spring — when Philip's merry laug4i won a smile from the aged, 
as a dim remembrance of their OAvn sunny days floated before 
them ; for Philip's laugh was to me as the tone of many harps, 
or like the " sound of many waters, 77 thrilling through my soul, 
and calling up never-dying echoes in my ears. He was my 
first, my only love-dream. I will not describe him, because such 
descriptions are futile, and evidences of woman's weakness. I set 
up an idol for myself, and knelt down to worship it. Of Philip's 
abundant wealth, I never thought ; of his overweening pride of 
heart, I did ; and more particularly, because he told me that he 
was considered to resemble his mother both in disposition and 
appearance. She had been left a young* widow with this infant 
son ; and after the lapse of years, she had married a second 
husband, whom she had accompanied to the East, from whence 
their return was shortly expected, laden with honours and 
treasure. Philip was his mother's only child, and he spoke of her 
with rapturous exultation. She was the sole female representative 
of a long line of ancient name, and her beauty and fascinations 
had been the theme of every tongue. I felt jealous of this beloved 
and beautiful mother. Philip saw it, and smiled, and his assu- 
rances of her tenderness calmed me. Philip said she had a mother's 
heart, and would be sure to take the orphan girl of his choice to 
her maternal bosom, "But, Philip," I asked timidly, for wild 
forebodings unaccountably filled my heart, "do her eyes flash 

haughtily like yours— does her proud lip curl so contemptuously 

21 



MATHILDE. 

when she is angered ? " My lover smiled, and declared that his 
mother's eyes would ever beam tenderly on me, and that her 
sweetest, honeyed words, flowing' forth from ruby lips, would ever 
welcome me. Hope whispered a flattering* tale, and we both 
listened and believed. It was a bright and fleeting dream — so 
bright and divine, that the memory comes to me in visions of 
sleep even now, and I forget the dark dread abyss. It comes to 
me with murmurs of Paradise music — heard far away, yet clear, 
soft, and distinct ; and it is the certainty of that better land 
beyond the grave which sustains and has sustained me through 
the weary pilgrimage of latter years.' 

e Can this creature be avaricious ! ' thought Dorothy, as she wept 
for sympathy and pity. 

c My faithful guardian, Doctor Emslie, was not slumbering on his 

post. Vigilant and careful of my welfare, he expected the avowal, 

which was not long delayed. Philip followed me to my home. I 

knew that he was closeted with Doctor Emslie, but I had no fears, 

for he came to ask my guardian's consent to our union when his 

mother arrived from India, and in the meantime that we might 

be allowed to correspond as a betrothed pair, and to meet as such. 

Philip being rich, and independent of any control, there was no 

consent on his side to seek, save that of the dear mother, to 

whom her son voluntarily deferred in all things. " My mother 

does not care for money," Philip often said to me. " She does not 

wish me to seek for a wealthy bride, as I have enough for both. 

But she requires all you possess, Mathilde;" and then a lover's 

enumeration ensued. Whilst I sat expecting Philip and Doctor 

Emslie to enter the apartment immediately, the doctor came alone. 

His countenance alarmed me : its expression was so disturbed, 

stoical and philosophical as he usually appeared, that I hastily 

asked what had happened, and where Philip was. " He has left 

us, my dear," replied Doctor Emslie, striving to speak composedly. 

" It is better this aifair should not proceed until Mr Philip's mother 

returns ; and he thinks so too." He thinks so too ! Great powers ! 

what had transpired so suddenly to change the ardent, passionate 

lover of my youth into a cold calculator ? There was a terrible 

mystery I saw at a glance. Doctor Emslie was truth itself, but his 

lips were sealed ; nor could I learn more than that Philip would 

write to me, and on his mother's arrival, she would be immediately 

acquainted with the state of affairs ; and if her sanction was 

accorded, all would be well. Doctor Emslie hesitated when he 

pronounced the word if. An ice-bolt shot through my heart — 

a quick, sudden pain, a spasm, which, after that first shock, often 

came again. What could I say — what could I do 1 Woman's 

delicacy revolted at a betrayal of wounded feeling ; but why had 

not Philip seen me, and himself told me that he might not choose 

a bride without his proud mother's sanction 1 Even that would 

have been less painful than this dark woful silence from him. He 

wrote to me, indeed, a short, incoherent, contradictory letter, 
22 



MATHILDE. 

which I could not comprehend. It was unworthy a generous., 
noble man thus to tamper with love like mine ; and in the pas- 
sion of my soul I said so to Doctor Emslie, and placing* the 
letter before him, pleaded for an explanation, for there was 
a secret — a black, horrible secret, or Philip never would have 
behaved thus. What man could have done so 1 To all these 
miserable and passionate invectives, the doctor listened in silence, 
but not unmoved : no, for the round tears coursed down his 
furrowed cheeks as he gazed on me kneeling at his feet. " My 
poor one/ 7 he said softly, u God help thee, for vain is the 
help of man. Thou art suffering for the sins of others." He 
spoke in enigmas. I could not comprehend the drift of his 
words : the knowledge came to me afterwards. I did not reply 
to Philip's letter: I would have died, first. He wrote to me 
again when his mother arrived, another short fearful letter — a 
farewell. She forbade his union with me ; that was all I could 
gather. Pride revolted at the unworthy treatment I had re- 
ceived, and contempt for Philip mingled with all softer memories. 
But, ah ! the bitterness of despair and anguish ere that climax is 
attained by a confiding, loving woman ! No more anger, no more 
outbursts, but calm, enduring contempt ; and with it a slumber of 
the heart, so to express it, succeeding active agony. This passive 
sensation I hailed with gratitude when I heard of Philip's mar- 
riage with a protegee of his mother's ; I felt thankful that I seemed 
invulnerable to further shocks. I sat apart from the world in 
my desolation, communing with mournful yet holy thoughts; I 
knew the time had come for lethargy, and that feverish anxiety 
was over. Time, which has elucidated the mystery of Philip's 
cruel conduct, and brought the secret to light connected with my 
brother's destiny and my own, has also fallen heavily on Philip's 
noble brow; for time has transformed the once innocent and 
happy youth into the reckless and debased profligate, miserable 
in his loveless marriage, and flying for refuge from thought to 
destructive excitement. Alas ! Philip is a confirmed drunkard and 
gamester. Poor fellow ! how earnestly I pity and pray for him 
now ; how sincere is my perfect forgiveness, even as I pray to be 
forgiven! — Lightly I must deal with my parents' errors ; I shrink 
even from alluding to them ; and I would not, were it possible to 
express my life's history without. Our true position was unknown 
to Doctor Emslie, as you are aware, Cousin Dorothy, until my 
father was on his death-bed ; and when Philip came to him as a suitor 
for my hand, Doctor Emslie believed the stigma of illegitimacy 
rested on our birth. Never had the sad tale been revealed to Gervase 
or to me ; we considered ourselves fatherless and motherless, nor 
had the remotest idea of the supposed truth ever entered our imagi- 
nations. Can you wonder, then, that Philip — the proud high-born 
Philip — heard with horror and dismay of our tainted origin 1 — that 
he heard it and fled — fled the contamination of an alliance with 
the base-born. He dreaded to meet me again, for well he knew 

23 



MATHILDE. 

his haughty mother's opprobrious disdain awaited the confession 
of our attachment and engagement. She would have cursed him 
had he wedded me, such as I was supposed to be. When Doctor 
Emslie revealed his knowledge to Philip, it was under the seal of 
secrecy, that the taint of such information should never sully my 
mind, never injure my peace. Perhaps he erred in thus concealing 
the truth ; but the good man meant well, and erred righteously. 
My peace ! alas, that was injured irremediably. The truth was 
divulged too late — too late : the stain was obliterated by the 
confession of our legitimacy ; a dying father did justice to his 
innocent offspring too late—too late for one of us at least. Too 
late! words of dread import. The sacrifice was completed, 
Philip lost, and my heart pierced with a barbed arrow. Then, 
and then only, when the brand was removed, did our guardian 
not hesitate to explain the past, to clear up the mystery which 
had darkened my existence. The merciful God put it into my 
mind to forgive fully and freely our earthly father for all the evil 
he had wrought : perhaps if Doctor Emslie had entertained the 
slightest suspicion that we were not what we were represented to 
be, he might have appealed to our father's better feelings when 
Philip sought me for his bride. But how could Doctor Emslie 
entertain the faintest clue to the reality ? — reality so far surpassing 
fiction, that the matter-of-fact and philosophical mind of our dear 
guardian had difficulty in digesting it, even when the law acknow- 
ledged and ratified our claims. Peace be with our parents' ashes ! 
God's judgments are not as our puny judgments. He looks on 
the thoughts and intents of the heart ; and let us remember that 
we judge not others. Our path through the wilderness is full of 
pitfalls and snares ; let us take heed to ourselves that we slip 
not. — We came to Deepdean, and I found there was trial before 
me yet. I sought help where it is always found — my prayer 
is granted, the fortune is mine, and Gervase my brother is saved ! 
Once only have I seen Philip since my doom — the shadow of 
his former self, the miserable wreck of the noble and spirited 
lover of my youth. I heard him plead for pardon, and confess 
the weakness which had led him, in utter recklessness of the 
future, to wed an unloved and unamiable bride, profaning the 
sacred altar, and calling clown the wrath of offended Heaven on 
his devoted head. Poor Philip ! I yielded no tears to the sweet 
memory of our early love-dream ; but I saw him, the man, 
weep — weep when he muttered u what he had been," and " what 
he was." — And now, my cousin Dorothy Cheyne, can you marvel 
that I feared for you — feared for Gervase, my only brother I Can 
you marvel that I rejoice over your decision on the side of love 
and truth 1 ' 

Bewildered, and not wishing to offend, Dorothy found difficulty 
in replying to her own satisfaction. She sincerely pitied Mathilde, 
.so beautiful, so young', and so unhappy ; but she could not recon- 
cile the discrepancy of mammon-worship — for had she not heard 

24 



MATHILDE. 

Mathilde rejoice over the acquisition of fortune ? — and the lamen- 
tation for lost love. And so Dorothy came to the conclusion in her 
own mind, that, as we are all supposed to be influenced by some 
ruling* passion, the passion of avarice had taken possession of 
Mathilde, when the stronger, and, according" to some folks, the far 
more evanescent passion of love had evaporated, from having* no- 
thing* left to feed upon. And yet to look on Mathilde, to listen to 
her, and to realise this, seemed impossible. Involuntarily Dorothy 
exclaimed, seizing her cousin's passive hand : ' O Mathilde, would 
that I could understand you ! — you are an enigma ! ' 

6 To be solved hereafter ! ? was the grave, kind reply. ' May we 
all meet in that blest land where we shall no longer see as in a 
glass darkly, but face to face ! I 

Dorothy pondered much on all she had heard, and the asperity 
of her manner, consequent on the misgiving of her mind, consider- 
ably softened down as the hour of parting approached. At length 
the farewell day dawned when Mathilde, as heiress of Hardinge, 
departed to take possession of the mansion of her ancestors, accom- 
panied by her young brother, now the dependent on his sister's 
bounty. He could not quite forgive Dorothy for her part in the 
transaction; but he was too lighthearted to bear malice long, 
and his spirits regained their elasticity even before the travellers 
arrived at their journey's end. 



IV. 

Deep in the recesses of a vast and gloomy library at Hardinge 
Hall, Dr Emslie waited to receive them, to introduce the 
children of his adoption to their ancestral seat, with which he 
was familiar long ago, in the days when the deceased Mr 
Hardinge had exercised bachelor hospitality to his friends. When 
the first emotions of pleasure on greeting them were over, like a 
second Dominie Sampson, the worthy scholar found difficulty 
in tearing himself away from the beloved apartment, where, 
in the midst of an ocean of literature, he was accustomed to dive 
and plunge with unflagging zeal and evernew delight. After 
conversing with Mathilde, even she failed to absorb the undivided 
attention of her guardian, the temptation of such a library being 
too strong for the affection and anxiety of Dr Emslie to withstand. 
And Mathilde, finding there was no hope of detaching him from 
his favourite studies, or of engaging his attention to the lighter 
and more frivolous pursuits of her young brother, patiently, day 
by day, passed silent hours by his side, employed with her work, 
books, or writing. He often, however, laid aside the volume he 
was reading, to gaze long and intently on the lovely pallid face, 
which ever returned his inquiring look with a sweet smile of 
perfect resignation, accompanied sometimes by such words as : ' I 
am quite happy ; I am well contented ; I am at peace.' It would 

25 



MATHILDE. 

have formed a beautiful picture 7 with the dark oak panelling", and 
the purple heavy hangings for a background, when a ray of sun- 
light streamed through the stained-glass windows on the white 
figure of the saintly-looking woman, and that of her faithful 
guardian, withered and attenuated, as he read aloud quotations 
from ancient writers. 

c Mathilde, my love,' said the doctor softly, after he had indulged 
in the contemplation of his companion for an unusual space, wiping 
his spectacles, putting them on again, then taking- them off and 
readjusting them more to his satisfaction, after another process of 
cleansing — c Mathilde, my love, I am inclined to come to the con- 
clusion, that the greatest mystery in our nature is the impossibility 
of perfectly realising that we ourselves must die, even although we 
make it our daily duty to reflect on death, and to be ready for our 
call. It is easy to say, and it frequently is said, that death is 
inevitable, and must come to all ; but to feel the actual conscious- 
ness that this busy world will g*o on as busily for ages after we are 
no more, as it did during the ages before we were born ; that our 
bodies shall be imprisoned in dreary separation from our souls ; 
and that our spirits shall awake to consciousness amidst a scene 
unutterably wonderful, where we shall for ever and ever exist : all 
this bursts upon our thoughts with the awe and astonishment 
attending the idea of a general doom, not as something coming 
specially home to the business and bosom of the individual. 7 

i This, dear father/ replied Mathilde — addressing her guardian 
hj the endearing appellation he liked so well to hear from her lips 
— e may be true in general ; but for me I feel no unwillingness to 
recognise the great fact of death, nor can I even comprehend very 
distinctly unwillingness in others. Who would wish to live over 
again one moment of the past which we have left behind us? 
Who would not wait and watch, and look forth into the gray 
dawn, to see if the day comes not 1 Do you not think that our 
earthly pilgrimage, when reviewed hereafter, will seem like one 
short hour, long ago passed, and but dimly remembered ? Long, 
laborious, full of sorrow as it often is, then it will dwindle down to 
a remote point, like the very least of the far-off stars. There are, 
indeed, seasons of deep terror and mortal anguish connected with 
our thoughts of death ; it is inscrutable and of dread aspect, but it 
may be resolutely grappled with, until at length we regard it as 
a familiar truth. Oh, my father ! if I could but look forward to 
eternity with but half the yearning wherewith I yearned for an 
earthly future, how thrice happy and blessed should I be ! Often 
in the still and cloudless night, when there is no voice of living* 
thing, when there is not a whisper of leaf or waving bough, not a 
breath of wind, not a sound upon the earth or in the air, and when 
overhead is the blue sky radiant with innumerable stars, then I hear 
sweet voices far away, which whisper : " Come ! " and the angel 
music penetrates my soul, and I weary for the moment when I may 
&tep over the boundarv, and explore the limitless space beyond. 7 

26 



MATHILDE. 

c Your peculiar turn of mind, my everdear child, may authorise 
the indulgence of such reveries as you describe, otherwise 1 should 
assuredly say there is a time for all thing's — a time to think,, and a 
time to unbend from thinking ; a time to mourn, and a time to 
rejoice ; a time to live, and a time to die/ said Dr Emslie, half- 
choked by some inward emotion, as he added : 6 We are so" 
constituted, that while this mortal coil is around us, we desire to 
keep those we love as long as possible on earth. It is not natural 
to speak of parting without a pang. Mathilde, my love, let us go 
forth into the sunshine. 7 

Whenever such conversations took place between the worthy 
doctor and Mathilde, which they not unfrequently did, it always 
happened that the doctor broke down first, and becoming agitated 
or uneasy, desired to change the subject ; while Mathilde, calm 
and collected, but tenderly pitying the emotion his affection for 
her alone occasioned, cheerfully obeyed the summons which led 
them out into the fresh air. There were many desolate chambers 
at Hardinge Hall, much of ruin and decay, which the hand of 
the spoiler, Time, had wrought ; but the cunning fingers of 
art had also been busy there in former generations, which sculp- 
tures and mouldings of exquisite workmanship, arabesques, and 
fan-like nutings, sufficiently attested. Many and close were the 
hills around, which eastward shut the wide valley in, the sea-waves 
beating beyond ; the grounds were extensive and diversified, but 
neglect and desolation marked the scene. There was wonderful 
scope for the display of taste, for renovation and alteration ; but 
neither Dr Emslie nor Mathilde noticed these things when 
they passed through the valley, over the hills, to the sea-shore. 
Yet she was the young mistress of all this fine domain, the sole 
and undisputed owner ; her perception of the beautiful was allow- 
edly exquisite, her means to effect the suggestions afforded by such 
perceptions, ample. Why, then, did Mathilde's eyes never linger 
with interest on the gray walls of Hardinge, or the terraced slopes 
beyond 1 Why did she carelessly pass them over without an inquir- 
ing look, and press forward to the lonely point over the hills, whence 
a view could be obtained of the sun sinking into the ocean ? 

Silently the two watched the departing luminary, Dr Emslie 
standing bareheaded, the skies above one vast cathedral dome. 
Mathilde's lips moved, but at first no sound was audible. When 
roused by her companion's voice from the deep reverie into which 
she was plunged, and lingering ere they retraced their homeward 
steps in the deepening twilight, she musingly ejaculated : c As the 
evening sun sets, so sets our sun of hope. Slowly it sinks amid 
folding clouds ; and the song of birds, the sound of evening-bells, 
the fragrance of sweet blossoms load the cool air, and the rustling 
leaves make music to the ear; while over the valley falls the 
purple mist, which, like shadows gathered round a human heart, 
from transparent and faint outlines deepen into form, and herald 
the approach of night — and such a night is mine ! ' 

27 



MATHILDE, 



V. 

It was as if some distressing and vexatious dream had passed 
over them, when Mr Cheyne and his daughter relapsed into their 
former tranquil and monotonous habits, undisturbed by the pre- 
sence of strangers. Yet the stern reality of everyday life was 
oftentimes oppressive. Where was Frank Capel, the hopeful, 
the joyous? — where were the anticipations of a happy future? — ■ 
where was the charm of the old sunny garden 1 Frank Capel was 
abroad, whither Sir John had managed to remove him, ostensibly 
on the diplomatic mission formerly alluded to ; the aspect of the 
future was blank and discouraging — all the golden visions flown ; 
and as to the dear old garden, it had ceased to shed tranquillity 
on the oppressed spirits grappling with heavy pecuniary diffi- 
culties. With minds preoccupied, the memory of Mathilde and 
Gervase began imperceptibly to fade into a dim mist-like sort of 
obscurity — the mention of their names, or discussion of their 
affairs, being tacitly avoided by the inmates of Deepdean. 

Months wore slowly away, and the unanswered ejDistles from 
Hardinge altogether ceased. Gervase had written twice or thrice 
— by no means a light task for him, who could more ably wield a 
sword than a pen. In his first letter, the young man mentioned 
that, in compliance with Mathilde's earnest request, he deferred 
for the present indulging his desire to obtain a commission in 
the army ; in the second, Gervase stated that Dr Emslie was still 
on a visit with them, which he was very glad of, as i Hardinge 
was a dreadful dull stupid place — a fit abode only for bats and 
owls ; and as for the garden, as they call it/ concluded the 
writer, ' that at Deepdean beats it all hollow ! ? Mr Cheyne 
detested writing; Dorothy had no desire to commence a corre- 
spondence with her cousins ; and so, as has been already said, the 
letters remained unanswered. The delicate bloom on poor Dolly's 
cheek faded away altogether, and she unwillingly drooped before 
her agonised father's eyes. Sometimes she reproached herself 
bitterly for not having achieved the sacrifice of self — to save and 
shield her beloved parent from distress and anxiety in his old age. 
These reproaches tortured her mind unavailingly ; and althoug-h 
Mr Cheyne tried to smile, and to bear up unconcernedly, in order 
to reassure her — for he read her sufferings, silent as she was — 
yet he could not conceal the havoc which the last few months had 
wrought in his own appearance. The clear eyes were dimmed, 
the firm erect gait tottering and uncertain, while even the once 
favourite haunt, the once favourite author, had ceased to interest. 

Heavy liabilities, harassing debts, and the harassing technicalities 
of law, had now reached their long-procrastinated climax, yet Mr 
Cheyne could not bring himself to ask Mathilde for assistance. 
He had thought of it, but his soul revolted from the effort. It 

28 



MATHILDE. 



must come spontaneously from her, that pale, mysterious, silent 
woman; but then she was unacquainted with the circumstances 
of Mr Cheyne, nor knew it was with him an hour of need — a 
struggle to keep the ancestral shelter of Deepdean over his white 
head, for the few years more he had to live, even in the natural 
course of events. 

There was a hush, a lull, though not a break was to be discerned 
in the heavy leaden skies. When the clouds did disperse, when 
the sunshine did pierce through the gloom, it was after the 
storm-burst cleared away, after Death had struck a victim down. 
A large packet, addressed in the well-known and peculiar penman- 
ship of Dr Emslie, arrested Dorothy's steps one morning as she 
entered the breakfast-room : it was black-edged, and sealed with 
the same sombre hue. It was the prelude of the storm-music ! 
A prophetic anticipation of something awful impending, sent the 
blood back to Dorothy's throbbing heart ; anxiously she watched 
her father, as with eager trembling' hands he broke the seal. An 
exclamation escaped him, and he handed the packet to his daughter, 
saying* : ' Read it — read it, my dear : my eyes fail me.' 

It was from Dr Emslie to Mr Cheyne, and nearly in substance 
as follows, allowing for rather abrupt phraseology: — 'It is my 
painful duty to inform you of the decease of Mathilde Hardinge, 
daughter and heiress of the late Samuel Hardinge, of Hardinge 
Hall. She expired instantaneously on Tuesday, being in the 
act of reading aloud to me from a favourite author a passage 
touching on eternity. She had lived in preparation and expec- 
tation of this event for some years ; I, in my medical capacity, 
having considered it expedient to inform her of the fatal nature of 
a heart disease under which she laboured, though without frequent 
pain or bodily prostration. The symptoms of disease were of a 
decided character, but of slow growth and progress. Several 
eminent brother-physicians were consulted, when the conclave 
unanimously agreed in their opinion. There was no hope — ■ 
none! It was a long time, a very long time, before I could 
make up my mind as to what course ought to be pursued ; 
whether we ought to aMow the dear girl to live in false hope, or to 
prepare her for the solemn change which we knew must happen 
momentarily, and might happen ere another day had waned. 
When I decided on the right course, I gently, carefully, and 
tenderly revealed the truth. I suffered more than Mathilde, 
sweet child ; and were I to live a thousand years, and ten thou- 
sand added to that, the memory of that painful scene never 
could be eradicated from my mind. Though she cared not 
much for life — for sorrow and she had been well acquainted — yet 
she was unprepared to die; and the idea of death — a near and 
sudden death — was frightfully appalling. We pray God to avert 
sudden death from us ; and in her case the unspeakable horrors 
attendant on it were mercifully averted, because she received due 
warning. I may say she lived with Death beside her : she felt 

29 



MATHILBE. 

his icy breath, his cold touch, until he lost his terrors ; and I do 
earnestly believe that without one mortal pang* she ceased to 
breathe. In compliance with her entreaties, the secret of the 
tenure on which she held existence from day to day, hour to 
hour, minute to minute, remained undivulged. 

C I am aware that the temporal concerns of the late Mathilde 
Hardinge are admirably and carefully adjusted for the benefit of 
your daughter Dorothy ; the dear deceased having rejoiced that 
it was in her power to restore one half of the lost fortune to her 
who had once expected to inherit the whole. 

i I consider it an especial boon that I was permitted to be near 
her at the moment of her death. A few days previously, she had 
mentioned to me her desire, that immediately after her dissolution, 
yourselves should be made acquainted with the event through the 
medium of my pen. Gervase Hardinge is immersed in deep 
grief ; but the elasticity of youthful spirits and fine health will, 
with God's blessing, soon, I think, restore him to complacency. 
Sorrowing, but not shocked or overwhelmed — I not having* 
reckoned on Mathilde Hardinge sojourning among us for even 
so lengthened a period as she did — I remain your servant to 
command, Ephraim Emslie, M.D.' 

Dorothy's voice faltered as she read, and bursting into tears 
she exclaimed : i O father, how cruelly we have misjudged poor 
Mathilde ; and now she has gone from us, and we can make her 
no amends ! ' 

' The end, indeed, has proved that we have judged her harshly, 
Dorothy, my dear/ responded Mr Cheyne, greatly agitated ; c but 
read that passage again in Doctor Emslie's letter which touches 
on the fortune.' 

Dorothy tearfully complied, sobbing as she read. c I parted 
with this angel in suspicion and coldness, and she death-doomed—- 
expecting momentarily the summons — and yet planning everything 
for my happiness ! 6 father, would that I could bring her back I 
How differently would I treat her ! ' cried Dorothy. 

1 My dear child,' interrupted Mr Cheyne gravely, c do not say 
that again : we may go to her, she cannot come to us ; nor would 
she if she could, depend upon it.' Long and hysterically Dorothy 
Cheyne wept on her father's shoulder : the old man was composed, 
though he often repeated in a low voice : c Poor Doctor Emslie ! 
poor Doctor Emslie ! she was to him as an only daughter.' 

c How could we be so blind, father,' whispered Dorothy, when 
the violence of her emotions began to subside, ' as not to solve 
the mystery which, as a halo, enveloped Mathilde ? She was so 
different from all others, that our blindness seems stupidity now.' 

c Ah ! my dear girl,' replied Mr Cheyne soothingly, i we always 
think an enigma easy when it is solved.' 

i And do you not remember, father,' continued Dorothy mus- 
ingly, c on parting every night, how invariably poor Mathilde 

30 



MATHILDE. 



bade each of us farewell, as if the night might never, for her at 
least, break again into day ? and once when we were alone, and the 
hour of retiring arrived, she threw such unusual gravity into so 
commonplace an occurrence as a daily "good-night," that, jestingly, 
I inquired her reason for so doing. — " Our short nights of dark- 
ness are typical of our long dreamless night of rest, which we all 
must enter into. Are we any of us sure of seeing another sunrise 
when we seek this short night's repose?" she replied. — " No, indeed, 
not sure, Mathilde," said I carelessly ; " but people don't often 
die in their beds suddenly and unexpectedly." — " May God avert 
such a fate from you ! " whispered Mathilde ; and the words are 
engraven on my heart, father — so solemn, sad, and thrilling they 
were. And yet — yet, foolish creature that I was — a suspicion 
of the truth never entered my brain — not the remotest idea of the 
terrible reality.' 

' Nor did she wish you to entertain a remote idea of the truth/ 
said Mr Cheyne, endeavouring to lead his daughter's thoughts 
from the distressing subject. 'Your deductions were perfectly 
natural, my dear, though we should always be careful how we 
judge others. In due course of time we shall receive formal noti- 
fication of the settlement of the deceased's aifairs, no doubt, alluded; 
to by the excellent doctor. Cheer up, my love ! happiness is yet in 
store for you, if I am not mistaken.' 

- And all through thy instrumentality, angel Mathilde ! ' mur- 
mured Dorothy, as she sought the solitude of her chamber. 

Mr Cheyne was right in his supposition ; for when Sir John 
Capel heard that Mathilde had bequeathed half the fortune to 
Gervase, and half to Dorothy Cheyne, merely stipulating that they 
should follow the dictates of their own inclinations as regarded a 
matrimonial choice, he immediately recalled his son from exile * 
and as Mr Cheyne and himself had always been on the best- 
terms, c thanks,' Sir John said, c to his diplomacy,' there was no 
unpleasant apologetical or exculpatory scenes to go through 
between the heads of the two families — Sir John truly declaring 
that he had always admired and coveted Dorothy for a daughter- 
in-law, and that he rejoiced 'prudence permitted the realisation 
of his wishes.' 

Mr Cheyne — simple-hearted, amiable, and benevolent — joyfully 
gave his dutiful and beloved daughter to Frank Capel, who, with 
gratitude unspeakable, received the priceless treasure of her hand. 

Gervase entered the army, and in process of time attained both 
rank and laurels. He often visited Deepdean when his military 
avocations permitted ; but espousing a rich heiress, and his 'martial 
fire cooling down, he eventually settled at Hardinge Hall, which 
it had been Mathilde's wish her brother should retain. The 
quaint old garden at Deepdean flourished for many years in 
pristine splendour, Frank declaring there was not another like 
it in the three kingdoms. A fair troop of children in after-times 
enlivened the trim green-sward alleys, and sported like water- 

31 



MATHILDE. 

nymphs beside the sparkling fountains; nor was the venerable 
squire ever heard to complain that his meditations were disturbed. 
On the contrary, Evelyn's heavy folios were unwontedly neglected, 
and the fairy creatures became so obstreperous in "their mirth 
in his presence, and with his assistance, that their staid nurse 
declared i Squire Cheyne encouraged them in rebellion. ' His 
capacious pockets were always stored with sugar-plums, besides 
being perfect reservoirs for all descriptions of juvenile pro- 
perty — torn pictures, battered balls, headless dolls, and tailless 
horses. But grandpapa's especial favourite and chum was a 
gentle little girl, who best liked to saunter slowly hand-in-hand 
with the old man, sagely inquiring the names of flowers and 
shrubs, and whose name was Mathilde. Dr Emslie did not 
long survive his beloved ward, bequeathing the bulk of his 
moderate fortune to charitable institutions. On the site where 
Hardinge Hall formerly frowned, a gay modern villa smiles in 
the sunshine; and few persons would notice with any unusual 
degree of interest a jDlain marble tablet in Hardinge church, which 
simply records the name and age of Mathilde Hardinge, who 
sleeps beneath. Requiescat in pace ! 





IACE AND LACEMAKING. 




T is but a tribute due to that spirit of untiring: 
research which characterises the age in which 
we live, to acknowledge that there remain com- 
paratively few branches of art and manufacture 
every mystery of which has not been made 
plain to us. The origins of curious inventions 
have been so perseveringly traced, that in most 
instances we may not only sympathise in the triumph 
the projector at the practical realisation of some 
cherished idea, but follow the workings of his mind 
through that chaos of fancies, doubts, hopes, and fears, 
'which preceded the clear light of discovery. Then we 
"Hnay trace, step by step, the history of the idea on its 
gradual advance to perfection ; may rejoice as we see it clothed 
in forms of increasing beauty and practical utility ; and, finally, 
recognise the great results which may spring from the careful 
No. 52. l 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

development of one man's thought and ingenuity. But although 
we possess such abundant means of enlightenment as a general 
principle, there yet remain some few subjects concerning which 
we vainly seek for this plenitude of information ; they must be 
either so closely enveloped in mystery as to disappoint inquiry, or 
not of sufficient general interest to awaken it. To both these 
causes may probably be referred, in some measure, the doubt 
and uncertainty which attach to the earlier annals of the art of 
Lacemaking. 

Although we possess no positive clue to the date of this inven- 
tion, and have only conjecture to rely upon, there seems reasonable 
ground for attributing it to the most remote ages. The love of 
distinction in attire doubtless gave rise, at a very early period, to 
some attempts at adornment with the needle; as the power of 
execution advanced, the style and manner of the designs necessarily 
improved, and the various branches of embroidery are known to 
have attained among the civilised and luxurious Greeks to a 
remarkable degree of perfection. So skilled were the Phrygian 
women especially in the use of the needle, that opus Phrygianum 
was the general Latin term for curious and fine needle-work of 
every description, whilst Phrygiones was the common name given 
to the class following the occupation of embroiderers. It has been 
suggested by more than one author, that the delicate ornamental 
work introduced by the Phrygians to other parts of the civilised 
world, included the manufacture of lace ; but it has been more 
generally inferred, from passages in Pliny and Plautus, to have 
consisted of embroidery merely. The most ancient description of 
lace, however, being worked entirely with the needle, was, after all, 
but a finer specimen of the older art ; and there is probability, if 
not proof, that its existence dates from about the same period. It 
is certain that neither labour nor ingenuity was spared in the 
production of the magnificent borderings for robes, often worked 
in gold and silver and various colours, which are associated in our 
minds with the ancients on better grounds than mere tradition. 
What, then, is more probable than that, in the search for novelty 
and variety — as much an object of desire, no doubt, in that age as 
in our own — the idea should have presented itself to some tasteful 
eye of relieving the pattern of the fabric .with occasional spaces, 
either left wholly vacant, or filled up with a web-like groundwork ? 
This would, in reality, constitute lace, however much it might 
differ from the delicate material known by that name in the 
present day. Whether the introduction of lace is referrible to the 
classic ages or not, certain it is that a very respectable degree of 
antiquity may be claimed for it. 

It must be borne in mind that real or hand-made lace is divided 
into two distinct classes : first, that worked with the needle, which 
has for ages been known by the name of point, and is but trans- 
parent embroidery ; and secondly, that made on a hard cushion or 
pillowj by the interweaving of numerous fine threads wound on 

2 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

wooden bobbins. The latter method of lacemaking is compara- 
tively of modern invention ; so that in the early history of the 
fabric it must be understood as referring solely to the point. 
During" the earlier periods at which the existence of lace is gene- 
rally recognised, it was exclusively worked in conventual institu- 
tions, and applied to the adornment of church-furniture and the 
state- vestments of the priests. Had it been made in populous 
towns, and formed an article of commerce, more satisfactory infor- 
mation would have been here and there discovered ; but of those 
old isolated convents in Spain and Italy, and of the habits and 
pursuits of their inhabitants, little beyond vague tradition has 
descended to us. There is every reason to suppose, that during 
the thirteenth, fourteenth, and two following centuries, the making 
of lace occupied the same important position in the daily employ- 
ments of the nuns, as the arts of copying and illuminating 
manuscripts, amongst the monks and friars. At a time when it 
was deemed a religious obligation of the recluse to confine her 
interests and sympathies wholly within the narrow limits of her 
prison-house, and before the education of the young was allotted 
as her share of the social duties of life, it is easy to imagine the 
.enthusiasm and unwearied industry with which her one secular 
occupation would have been pursued. We can fancy her heart 
and mind alternating between the cares of Heaven and those of 
her work, to which a kind of religious interest would be given by 
its intended destination ; patiently labouring on from day to day, 
month to month, and year to year, but making such imperceptible 
progress in the rich massive fabric upon which she was engaged, 
that to any eye but her own it must have seemed like a second 
Penelope's web. Yet she no doubt found in it excitement as well 
as interest ; the arrival' at every fresh stage of her work would 
shine forth both in anticipation and retrospect as an event of no 
little importance in her monotonous career; whilst the idea of 
seeing the result of her labours devoted to the sacred service, from 
which it would have seemed nothing short of sacrilege to divert 
it, was comforting enough to inspire fresh energy in moments of 
weariness and discouragement. Yet even this small reward could 
by no means have repaid the industry of all, since the completion 
of articles of any size — of albs and altar-cloths, for instance — must 
have involved the incessant application of many lives. 

It is singular that, in later years, the secrets connected with 
the manufacture of old point-lace have been lost to us; and 
that, although ingenious imitations are by no means rare, the 
authentic method of making it is quite unknown. The substratum 
used, or e foundation/ as it is called, would appear to have been 
fine linen, though scarcely a thread is visible to the eye, from the 
heavy embroidery upon it, which here and there stands out in 
complete relief. The pattern consisted of small sections of fantastic 
and varying outlines : now a rather unnatural imitation of a 
flower, now some quaint arabesque or mechanical form, resembling 

3 



LACE AND LACBMAKING. 

nothing" in the world but itself. These being" distinct from each 
other, were united by delicate fibres made with the still common 
button-hole stitch ; and it is not easy for mere description to do 
justice to the beauty of the general effect. It seems wonderful 
that so perfect a result could have been attained by following the 
impulse of the moment ; but still more difficult to believe that any 
design could have been invented so strange and capricious in 
character. As for the untiring patience displayed in the execution, 
we can only rejoice that it was believed to be in a good cause ; 
that the pious nuns could not foresee the desecration to which, in 
the course of some few centuries, their cherished productions were 
to be subjected. When accident or necessity by degrees alienated 
the more valuable adornments of church-furniture, they were 
applied to secular purposes ; and no doubt many a modern belle 
may have unconsciously displayed in a ball-room a lace-flounce 
which has adorned an image of the Virgin, or sought ineffectual 
protection from a draught by drawing around her a mantle of old 
point, which has witnessed from the shoulders of a cardinal many a 
grand and imposing ceremony. There are, of course, comparatively 
few specimens extant of this very antique lace, properly described 
as Spanish point ; and these few have in most cases been handed* 
down to their possessors as valued heir-looms from generation to 
generation ; regarded with as much honest pride by the ladies of 
the line, as the more valuable portion of the family heritage by 
their matter-of-fact husbands. As the supply of old point can 
never be renewed, and competition can never affect it, its value 
naturally increases ; and when it can be bought at all, it is only 
at a price that would be deemed extravagant by any other than a 
genuine lace-fancier. 

It was not until the latter part of the fourteenth century, that 
the world at large was indulged with more than an occasional 
glimpse of the beautiful fabric when displayed in the great festivals 
of the Church ; but by that time some knowledge of the art had 
crept out of its holy hiding-places, and had found its way amongst 
the merchants of one or two continental cities, to whom its novelty 
and beauty could not fail to recommend it as a subject of extensive 
and profitable commerce. It is true, we do not hear of it at once 
as being* in general use ; but Home was not built in a day, neither 
was point-lace to be produced at a wish. The hands that made it 
had to be carefully instructed and exercised in their employment 
before any degree of perfection could be attained, and then long 
and unwearyingly had they to pursue it before even the wealthier 
classes of society, to whom alone it was attainable, could be 
adequately supplied. We meet with most frequent allusion to 
Venice, that great bazaar of the luxuries of the middle ag^es, as 
the chief seat of the point -lace manufacture in early times. 
As this city certainly monopolised the most skilful artisans in 
every branch of ornamental handicraft, and was the great empo- 
rium whence everything beautiful and costly was spread over the 

4 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

world, it is by no means extraordinary that the establishment of 
lacemaking in other countries should be generally referred back 
to some wandering- band from the city of the winged lion. 

The character of the lace worn during the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries differed in some respects from the conventual point, if it 
may be so termed. It was less massive, and although, certainly, 
exhibiting no deficiency of work, did not display that superabun- 
dance of adornment which distinguished the chefs-d'oeuvre of the 
holy sisterhoods. This is easily accounted for by the circumstance, 
that the one kind was made for money by those whose bread 
depended on the work of their hands \ whilst the other was the 
chosen occupation of leisure hours, and an outward demonstration 
of heart-service. A tolerably true and correct idea of the lace 
made in 1587, is given in a curious old book published at Paris in 
that year by a Venetian. This is the first work connected with 
the subject that is to be met with, and its appearance is said to 
have given a new impulse to the trade, and to have exercised a 
universal influence on the designs represented for many years 
afterwards. It is entitled : Les Singuliers et Nouvecmx Portraits 
du Seigneur Frederic de Vinciolo, pour toutes sortes d* Ouvrages en 
Lingeries; chose non encore vue ni inventee, subjoins the author, 
by way of enhancing his own peculiar merits and achievements. 
The book comprises a collection of patterns for lace-work, but 
without descriptions or letter-press of any kind ; and, it must be 
confessed, that these same strange designs lead to the conclusion, 
that the taste of M. de Vinciolo, if not of the age itself, must have 
been very much in its infancy. We gather but an imperfect 
idea of the method by which the work was executed, as the 
illustrative engravings are more like representations of cut paper 
than anything else. They are, however, valuable as evidence that 
more than one kind of lace was at that time in existence; for, 
although in many of the plates we see the familiar old point 
repeated again and again, there are some others which convey the 
impression of a net-work with square open holes or meshes, on 
which were sewn various patterns cut out of linen, or some 
equally thick and heavy material. This net-work would certainly 
appear to us nothing extraordinary in itself, but it is, nevertheless, 
noticeable, as a decided indication of a new and different method 
of manufacture, which has maintained its importance even to the 
present day ; namely, the use of the pillow, on which I shall have 
occasion to enlarge in connection with the productions of our own 
age and country. A simple unornamented groundwork would 
naturally be the first thing to which the discovery would be 
applied, so here, no doubt, we see it in its earliest stage. Beckmann, 
in his History of Curious Inventions, claims the one in question 
for a countrywoman of his own — Barbara, the wife of Christopher 
Ultman, of St Annaberg, in Saxony — and fixes the discovery pre- 
viously to the year 156.1. He adds, that the mines of Saxony 
being at that time unproductive, the miners' families were chiefly 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

dependent for support on the exertions of their women ; and that 
their ordinary occupation — that of making veils — having" also 
declined, the new work was eagerly welcomed, as affording them 
employment. We are informed, in conclusion, that the honoured 
inventress died in 1575, in the sixty-first year of her age, sur- 
rounded by sixty-four of her descendants, children and grand- 
children ; so she would have had a goodly band of disciples, even 
had she found none out of her own family. A doubt suggested 
itself to Beckmann, as it might do very forcibly to ourselves, whether 
the merit of Barbara Ultman did not consist rather in introducing 
pillow-lace into her own country, than in originating it altogether. 
A discovery of this kind was far more likely to have emanated 
from the Flemings, already distinguished in the art, and with 
whom, being a staple article of commerce, its improvement and 
extension would naturally have been the unceasing object of study 
and ambition. 

The inhabitants of the various provinces of the Low Countries 
seem from the first to have eagerly and generally adopted this 
outlet for industry, in which their successful cultivation and pre- 
paration of the flax-plant gave them so marked an advantage. 
When the enterprise and commercial prosperity of Venice, Genoa, 
and the other great Italian cities had declined, on them devolved 
the responsibility, and a very profitable one it was, of supplying 
Europe with this among many other articles of decorative mer- 
chandise. Flanders lace has perhaps a greater historical repu- 
tation than any other kind, because the ages with which it was 
peculiarly identified are not so remote from our own as to render 
interesting records of its existence at all scarce. We recognise it 
in the grand old portraits of mailed warriors by Velasquez and 
other masters, where the large falling collar, or full ruff of rich 
lace, lends a sort of grace to the stern panoply of war. Frequently, 
too, the lacemaker, bending over her pillow, is introduced into the 
much esteemed representations of homely Flemish life by Mieris, 
Terburgh, and Gerard Douw, and affords a subject of far more 
grace and interest than those to which the artists of that school 
generally devoted their wonderful powers of pictorial description. 
Again, we usually find honourable mention of Flanders lace in 
minute records of the gala dresses of courtly dames and cavaliers 
who graced the courts of Europe during the latter part of the 
middle ages ; and if the sight of old point summons up many a 
strange vision of conventual shades, the name of its younger 
rival is not less rich in association with the pomp and grandeur 
of a very different phase of existence. That it always varied 
greatly, not only in quality but in character, there can be no 
doubt : each town in which the art of making it was cultivated, 
and every individual who contributed to its further development, 
would naturally give a characteristic peculiarity to their work, 
and bring to bear upon it improvements suggested by their own 
individual taste and judgment. Hence there were probably as 

6 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

V 

many distinctions in the fabric originally as at present, though, 
they were content to veil their separate claims to notice under the 
one general and national denomination. The discriminating" spirit 
of later times has not been satisfied with so indefinite a classifica- 
tion, and the various orders of lace now manufactured in Belgium 
are known by the names of the several towns which produce them. 

Brussels, which has during several centuries maintained a 
reputation wider and more extended than any other place, may 
certainly in the present day be said to support and, if possible, 
extend the renown of its lace ; of this there are two distinct varieties, 
easily recognisable by the initiated in such matters. The more 
valuable and beautiful kind is that called pointe d V aiguille, or, 
more commonly, Brussels point; it is worked wholly with the 
needle, and is, as its name implies, a very refined descendant of 
the ancient family of the points. It was very much in vogue 
among the wealthier classes in England during the reigns of 
Charles I. and several succeeding monarchs, and has been immor- 
talised in Vandyck's portraits of the martyr-king, under the form 
of the beautiful pointed collar and cuffs which were dignified 
by the name of the artist. Fashion has, in this case, been more 
constant than usual, since the taste for Brussels point has continued 
so decidedly among us, that we still monopolise a large proportion 
of the whole quantity made ; the other variety, called Brussels 
plait, being more extensively used in France, Spain, Russia, and 
other countries. In the latter description of lace, the flowers for 
the pattern are made separately on the pillow, and afterwards 
attached to net. It differs, in fact, but little from the best English 
Honiton, of which I shall speak hereafter. 

Although some cotton is employed at Brussels, the material 
used for the more recherche laces is the finest thread, made from 
flax grown at Hal and Rebecque. It is chiefly handspun, the 
Belgians having a prejudice against machinery as applied to this 
purpose ; and when we consider the extreme delicacy of the opera- 
tion, it does indeed seem impossible that the dexterity of human 
fingers so well versed in their* business, should ever be successfully 
emulated by artificial means. The finest quality of this thread is 
made chiefly in Brussels, and in damp underground rooms, for its 
tenuity is so great, that immediate contact with the dry air above 
is found to be injurious ; and in order to supply it in good work- 
ing order, it is kept for some time in a humid subterraneous 
atmosphere. It may be easily imagined that the life of a Belgian 
thread-spinner is unhealthy, and in every respect unattractive, 
and the price of her labour is therefore proportionably high. The 
whole process demands from her the most vigilant and uninter- 
rupted attention. She closely examines every inch of thread as it 
is drawn from the distaff, and when the slightest inequality occurs, 
stops the wheel, breaks off the defective piece of flax, and then 
continues her work ; the pieces so removed being laid carefully 
aside, to be applied to some other purpose, as the value of the 

7 



LA.CE AND LACEMAKING. 

material is too great to permit the slightest waste. Every artificial 
assistance for the eyesight is necessarily adopted. A background 
of dark paper is placed against the flax, to throw out the slender 
thread ; and the scene of labour is often so arranged as to admit 
only one single beam of light, which finds entrance through a 
small aperture, and falls directly on the work. This concentra- 
tion of light is found very useful in the production of this 
wonderfully fine and even thread, so necessary for the effect of 
the lace. 

Before machine-made net had arrived at its recent great perfec- 
tion, the plain groundwork of the Brussels laces was made by hand 
on the pillow in narrow widths ; these were afterwards united 
so dexterously, that the join was imperceptible to the eye. Trim- 
ming-laces of moderate width, some three or four inches perhaps, 
then extended in price from four to ten guineas the yard, and veils 
varied from thirty to one hundred guineas each ; but since the 
improvements at Nottingham have enabled excellent net to be 
supplied at a moderate cost, these prices have greatly diminished, 
and the consumption has proportionally increased. The different 
processes connected with the manufacture of Brussels lace vary so 
much, that each is intrusted solely to women especially versed in 
their own branch of the business. One class, known by the name 
of the platteiises, are continually occupied in making the flowers 
for the pattern on the pillow, after our English method, or, as it 
is authentically termed, making them in plait. Others, again, are 
educated to work them in point with the needle ; and these, when 
attached to net, form the lace properly described as Brussels 
applique, which resembles in its general features the pointe a 
Vaiguille. Another division of the labour consists in making the 
real net-groundwork, to which I have referred as being in great 
measure, though not entirely, superseded ; those who still devote 
themselves to it are called droclieleuses. The striqueuses are perpe- 
tually employed in attaching the flowers to the net ; whilst, by 
the name of attacJteuses, is described a distinct class, whose sole 
occupation consists in uniting the different portions of a pattern, 
so that it should appear to be made entire. Last, but not least in 
importance, must be mentioned the faiseuses de jjointe a P aiguille, 
to whose unrivalled skill our English elegantes are so largely 
indebted. The number of persons who find constant employment 
in Belgium by lacemaking is computed at 100,000 ; and we should 
be tolerably correct in estimating the body so engaged in or about 
the capital at 30,000. 

In the lace called Mechlin, made at Marines and Antwerp, there 
are some of those nice distinctions which render an account of the 
various productions of Brussels unavoidably rather complicated. 
Mechlin lace is made entirely on the pillow, and in one piece ; it 
can therefore be applied only to articles of limited size. Lappets 
or trimmings are the forms under which we generally see it ; and 
in these the exquisite delicacy of its texture can be thoroughly 

8 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

appreciated. The chief peculiarity consists in the filmy lightness 
of the ground, and in a thick plait-thread, as it is called, following 
the outline of the pattern, and giving the effect of embroidery. 
Few branches of the lace manufacture have suffered more from 
fluctuations in taste and fashion than the one in question. During 
the eighteenth century, it obtained the most enthusiastic apprecia- 
tion in this country, as well as on the continent. No ruffles but 
those of Mechlin could satisfy the fastidious taste of the gentlemen, 
and no lappets but Mechlin were deemed worthy appendages to 
the ponderous head-dresses of the ladies of that age. But of later 
years a revolution has taken place ; and although too good and 
expensive to be despised, it is at least neglected. This may in 
some measure arise from the fact that, from the quality of the 
thread used, and the time and labour necessary for the construction 
of so fine a web, the price continued higher than that of more 
effective' laces. A few discoloured specimens are generally to be 
seen among the attractions of a curiosity-shop, where, amidst old 
armour, antique chairs, and dingy china, they help to point a 
moral on the effects of time and the fluctuations of fashion. A 
wonderful and interesting example of the perfection, both in design 
and execution, to which, notwithstanding the slight encouragement 
it receives, Mechlin lace can be brought in the present day, was 
displayed at the Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations 
in 1851. The pattern consisted of birds, flowers, and trees; and it 
is doubtful if any other article in that rich assemblage, how much 
soever more important or pretentious, deserved more completely 
the title of a work of art. 

The next class of Belgian lace, called generally Valenciennes, 
will be familiar to most of our readers; but they may be scarcely 
aware that the contributions of each of the six towns in which it 
is chiefly made offer some distinctive peculiarity, which would 
enable a person accustomed to compare them to decide with cer- 
tainty upon their birthplace. The finest description is that which 
comes from Ypres. This town is acknowledged to excel in laces of 
the finest square ground and in the widest and most expensive kind ; 
its productions have been known in some instances to produce as 
much as L.50 the yard. The trade of lacemaking was commenced 
at Ypres about the year 1656 ; but so gradual was its progress that, 
according to a census made by Louis XIV., there were, some 
twenty-live years afterwards, only one manufacturer and sixty- 
three workers established there. It is chiefly since the year 1835 
that this business has become so extensive. It is now estimated 
that the dealers of Ypres purchase the work of 20,000 people, living 
either in the town or its vicinity. The greater part of this manufac- 
ture is exported to England, France, and Germany, and commercial 
relations in regard to it have also been opened with the United 
States. The produce of the town of Ghent is also good in quality, 
-but differs from. that of Ypres in being chiefly of narrow or medium 
widths ; for these, as being cheaper and more generailv available, 

No. 52. 9 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

there is of course a constant market ; and 12,000 persons are kept 
continually employed in its manufacture. The Bruges lace is of a 
good serviceable quality, and very popular in England. That of Alost 
is inferior to its rivals in colour ; and although the town can boast 
excellent workers, the deficiency of good designs tends to lower its 
reputation. Besides these places, Valenciennes lace is made in large 
quantities at Menin, Courtrai, and at many villages in the neigh- 
bourhood of the towns above referred to. This lace is now more 
generally used than any other kind, probably in some measure on 
account of its extreme durability and facility of adaptation to the 
demi-toilette dress which has of late become so universal. The 
price depends as much on the quality as even on the width ; but 
it may be regarded as the cheapest of the good foreign laces. The 
only remaining seat of the manufacture in Belgium important 
enough to require notice is that of Grammont, chiefly remarkable 
for its silk-laces, generally termed blondes. This branch of the 
trade is, however, so essentially French, that an account of it 
must be deferred until we examine in detail the productions of 
that country. 

That Holland and Belgium should, from time immemorial, have 
been distinguished for the perfection to which their fostering care 
has raised this beautiful fabric, is by no means astonishing, when 
we consider that for ages the inhabitants of those countries held 
the raw material in their own hands. In distributing it over 
other parts of the continent*, it is not unnatural that they should 
have reserved for their own use an ample share of the choicest and 
best descriptions, to which their unrivalled skill as spinners enabled 
them to do full justice. A convincing proof of the perfection to 
which they have brought the preparation of thread, is afforded by 
the circumstance, that it has been made of a quality so fine as to 
exceed when manufactured ten times the value of standard gold. 
More than one instance has occurred in which so large a sum as 
10,000 francs has been given for one pound of this yarn; but 
the average prices vary from 60 to 1800 francs. With the per- 
petual endeavour after advancement in this art as in all others, it 
is very possible the time may come when our descendants shall 
regard as commonplace and unworthy of notice trophies of skill 
which appear marvellous in our own eyes; but it seems impossible 
for us, even in these days of progress, to realise a greater degree of 
perfection than has been already attained in this manufacture. 

Although Belgium is and ever has been the lacemaking country 
par excellence, it is not to be supposed that the proverbial taste 
and love of adornment which characterise the French nation have 
been without very fruitful results in this respect. In tracing the 
history of the art in their country, we see another instance, and 
only one in a thousand, of the interest so consistently displayed by 
the respective governments in the establishment and advancement 
of different branches of manufacture. From very early times, they 
justly regarded the various trades which tended to the prosperity 

10 



! 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

of the land, as not unworthy the practical superintendence and 
encouragement of its rulers, instead of leaving" them, as elsewhere, 
dependent on the enterprise and support of private individuals, and 
allowing* them to fluctuate and struggle on as they best might. 
For the introduction of their most beautiful and expensive lace, the 
French were indebted, as for many other benefits, to Colbert, the 
minister of Louis XIV., who, in the year 1660, invited over artisans 
from Venice, which, from this circumstance, would appear, even 
then, not to have lost altogether its ancient reputation. They 
were established in the town of Alencon, and soon organised an 
extensive manufacture of the Point de Venise, afterwards called 
Point de France, and, finally, Point d' Alencon. It is said, that 
about the same time, the Comte de Marsan, youngest son of the 
great Comte d'Harcourt, brought over from Brussels to Paris an 
old nurse named Dumont, with her four daughters, and procured 
for her the exclusive right to establish and carry on lacemaking 
in that capital. In a short time, Madame Dumont collected 
upwards of 200 women, many of them belonging to good families, 
whose work was scarcely inferior to that imported from foreign 
countries. There is, however, no trace now remaining of this 
once flourishing establishment ; whether it altogether decayed, 
or adjourned to some scene more congenial to so delicate and 
sedentary an occupation, is uncertain. The Point, d' Alencon, 
the chef-d'oeuvre of the art, still exists in all its glory, to attest 
the service rendered by Colbert to the manufacturing interests of 
his country. This lace, as we see it at the present day, bears but 
slight resemblance to the original Point de Venise, being of much 
finer texture ; and it differs, indeed, in the manner of its construc- 
tion, from every other variety, inasmuch as sixteen workers are 
employed on the smallest piece and simplest design of Alencon, 
so various are the stitches employed, whilst only one person is 
required to produce the richest laces of other kinds. Some general 
idea of the mode in which all this labour is applied may not be 
unacceptable. 

The design is, in the first place, engraved on copper, and after- 
wards printed off in divisions, on pieces of parchment, some three 
or four inches wide, and from five to twelve long. These are 
numbered, according to the order in which they will be required, 
and small holes are pricked along the outlines of the flowers ; each 
piece of parchment is then laid on one of coarse linen, and a sort 
of guiding thread, or t fil de trace, as it is called, of which the 
proper place is indicated, is sewn on with fine stitches, which unite 
thread, parchment, and linen in one. Two flat threads, held 
beneath the thumb of the left hand, are then guided along the 
mazy edges of the flowers, and are fixed by minute stitches passing 
through the holes in the parchment. Here, then, is the skeleton 
of the lace, and the next thing is to make the groundwork that 
fills up the flowers. For this, the worker supplies herself with a 

long needle and very fine thread, which she fastens securely to 

11 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

the border, and then works a kind of knotted stitch from left to 
rigiit. The first row finished, she reverts again to the starting- 
point, and commences a second, carefully placing* her needle 
between each stitch of the preceding* one ; and so she continues, 
until the space is filled up. The plain ground, which occupies the 
part between the flowers, is commenced by one thread being 
thrown across, as a sort of pioneer, and others intersecting- it and 
each other form the meshes. Then there are spaces especially 
reserved for various fancy stitches, termed modes ; and, finally, the 
outline of the pattern is enriched with an embroidery in relief, pro- 
perly described as the trode. This branch requires to be done by 
the most tasteful and experienced fingers ; but it gives a peculiar 
beauty and finish to the Alencon, which are not to be met with 
in any other lace. Where the work is so far happily accom- 
plished, the various pieces are cut from the parchment and tacked 
on green paper, to be joined together. Where a flower occurs, it 
is simply sewn, but the ground is united with a fancy stitch, and 
both are so skilfully joined as to escape detection. The material 
used is the finest linen thread, called maZguinerie, worth from 
L.100 to L.120 per pound. All the French laces were formerly 
composed of different qualities of this thread, but cotton has latterly 
been frequently substituted for it. The workwomen of Alencon 
are, as may be imagined, particularly skilful, displaying not 
merely great mechanical dexterity, but also taste and invention. 
They are not content to repeat the same achievements perpetually, 
however perfect they may be, but devote much of their attention to 
the introduction of novelties, especially in the open stitches, in 
which thev greatly excel. This lace is considered the most durable, 
as well as the most recherche, of those made in modern times, and 
exceeds every other, not excepting* Brussels, in value. Some 
beautiful specimens of it, adapted to a purpose hitherto unat- 
tempted, were contributed to the Great Exhibition of 1851 by 
Madame Josephine Hubert, of Paris ; they were considered by 
competent authorities to have been the greatest curiosities of the 
department to which they belonged ; and to have formed, indeed, 
a decided feature in the history of the manufacture. This disco- 
very, which has been patented in France and Belgium, consisted in 
the application of lace to exact representations, in complete relief, 
of flowers, leaves, and even fruit ; a degree of strength and solidity 
having' been given to the delicate material of Which it would have 
appeared unsusceptible. These imitations, which were arranged 
in wreaths, bouquets, and sprays, as ornaments for ladies' attire, 
comprised all the most beautiful of those flowers with which we 
are generally familiar, and were correct even to the most minute 
details. Some were erect, and some drooping, with forms globular, 
bell-shaped, or expanded, as the specimen chosen might require; 
in fact, nature was worthily represented, in all but her brilliant 
and varied colouring — this alone was unattempted. In addition 

to their intrinsic beauty, these lace-flowers were said to bear the 
12 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

operation of cleansing' with no injury to their forms, and, in this 
respect, to have the advantage over every other description ; but 
it seems difficult to imagine that any hands less expert than 
those which fashioned them could restore the delicate blossoms to 
anything resembling their original perfection. 

The reputation of France for its pillow-laces has perhaps been 
most widely extended by those of black and white silk, termed 
blonde, in which no other country could ever compete with it. 
The first specimen was made at Caen, and the silk used was of the 
natural or pale yellow colour ; but when it was once proved that 
this material was available for the purpose, a great improvement 
was effected in the substitution of pure white or black, to which a 
few coloured blondes now form the only exceptions. Soon after 
the first essay in this branch of the art, it attained to very great 
favour, and the towns of Caen and Bayeux promised to outvie in 
prosperity their hitherto more flourishing rivals ; but the caprice, 
probably, of some fair leader of ton, changed, in time, the aspect 
of affairs ; and the demand for blondes decreased so obviously, that 
the labour of a large proportion of the workers was directed to the 
production of black lace of the ordinary description. Caen and 
Bayeux excel all other places in what are called piece-goods, or 
larger articles of ladies' attire in that colour^ as, for instance, veils, 
scarfs, or dresses — and their manufactures are the most extensive 
in the world, employing upwards of 40,000 women. The lace- 
workers of the department of Calvados evince great dexterity and 
quickness; by means of a stitch called rucroe, they are able to 
unite pieces in a manner that escapes detection even with a glass, 
and therefore the work that formerly occupied one person's 
time for a whole year, is now executed in a month by a greater 
number. I shall hereafter have occasion to notice, that this skill 
in joining lace is not confined to our continental neighbours, but 
has contributed in no small degree to the increased effects displayed 
in our native productions. 

Although Caen and Bayeux were the principal seats of the 
blonde manufacture, a variety was originated at Chantilly, which 
was brought to a higher perfection than any other, and was pro- 
portionally higher in price. It was extensively worn in England 
about thirty years ago, but is now almost traditionary here. 
The peculiarity of Chantilly blonde consisted of the rich close 

fattern, which contrasted with the filmy lightness of the ground, 
t was chiefly woven for veils, which then differed a good deal from 
our present idea of them : they were simply squares surrounded 
by one of these deep heavy borders of irregular outline, and also 
flowered over in the centre, and were thrown over the bonnet, 
completely enveloping* the head and shoulders of the wearer. 
This description may be recognised by any one who has l assisted/ 
as the French say, at the bringing to light of those treasures of 
by-gone days consigned by the changes in taste and fashion to 
the darkness and oblivion of a lumber-room. Among such articles 

13 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

would most likely be included a Chantilly veil of gigantic dimen- 
sions, or a collar of proportionate magnitude. But although the 
general rage for Chantilly has long past away, it is still used in 
small quantities, and is made of exquisite beauty, as if thereby to 
retain with the very fastidious the favour it has lost among the 
great body of lace-wearers. 

Of the French pillow-laces of the ordinary kind, the precedence 
should perhaps be given to that of Lille, as being the oldest manu- 
facture in France, and the origin of our own Buckinghamshire, 
or English Lille, as it is sometimes called. The latter kind is so 
familiar to us all, that a detailed description of a lace which so 
closely resembles it is scarcely necessary. It is very light and 
simple, and also well made, but the consumption is daily decreasing, 
and the work-people are able to derive better remuneration from 
other branches of industry in the town. The same description of 
lace is also made at Arras, in the department of Pas-de-Calais, and 
at Mirecourt, in that of Vosges. The first of these two manufacto- 
ries is a standing example of the fact, that in the present age those 
who are content to pursue the same track, year after year, without 
ambition for improvement or adventure for novelty, will inevitably 
be left so far in the rear, that their very existence will be in time 
forgotten. The trade in Arras is altogether decaying for want of a 
little of that impulse and spirit which so peculiarly distinguish the 
lacemakers of Mirecourt, and of course tend largely to their 
prosperity. The artisans of the latter place are continually intro- 
ducing new designs in their work; indeed, nearly all the im- 
provements and novelties in the art, as carried on in France, are 
attributable to them; Mirecourt having quite a fame of its own for 
the good taste and elegance of its productions. Among these, one 
of the most beautiful is that called Guipure, made on the same 
principle, and altogether very much akin to our own Honiton. 
The system pursued in these laces, of making' flowers on the 
pillow, and afterwards attaching them to fine net, was not adopted 
at Mirecourt until four or five years ago; the Guipure has, 
during the last two years, so materially improved, that it is but 
little inferior to the Brussels plait, and is generally admired for 
its colour, quality, and moderation of price. 

The town of Puy, in Haute-Loire, though possessing no very 
extensive reputation for its lace, affords employment to 50,000 
persons, who are dispersed throughout the neighbouring districts. 
It happens that there are but few other industrial resources in this 
province ; its inhabitants are therefore chiefly dependent on this 
occupation, and labour is extremely cheap. The workwomen of 
Puy, although considered skilful, have, hitherto only succeeded in 
specimens of a very ordinary description, for which there is little 
competition. They do not confine themselves to any one kind of 
lace in particular, but produce it in silk thread and wool, all being 
durable and low in price, but not attractive from any delicacy of 
design or texture. 

14 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

Although the Dentelle de Valenciennes is generally regarded as 
a French lace, Bailleul is the only town in France of any impor- 
tance at which it is made ; whilst there are, as we have already 
noticed, not less than six seats of the manufacture in Belgium. 
The produce of Bailleul, though rather coarser than that of 
Bruges, closely resembles it, and possesses the double qualification 
of being the whitest and cheapest of its kind. There was a time 
when the dinginess of colour which of course necessarily charac- 
terises very old lace, was esteemed so great a beauty as to be 
obtained by artificial means ; and much of the modern lace was 
washed in a weak solution of coffee, and considered to have been 
greatly enriched by the operation. This perverted and unnatural 
taste has now happily passed away, and the makers emulate each 
other in their endeavours to preserve the thread in its original 
purity during the process of working it up. The peculiar whiteness, 
therefore, of the Bailleul lace is considered really an advantage, 
and, added to its durability, renders it universally popular. The 
production of hand-made lace throughout France affords employ- 
ment to about 200,000 women, who enter upon it when perhaps 
only six or seven years old, and in most cases do not give it up 
until they arrive at a very advanced age. Each person earns, 
upon an average, from sixpence to a shilling for the day's work of 
ten hours, though sometimes her own superior skill, or an unusual 
demand for the article^ may procure her higher remuneration. 
They pursue their occupation at their own homes, in much the 
same manner that it is carried on among the English peasantry, 
setting aside the pillow to fulfil their domestic duties, and returning 
to it when these are accomplished. 

The French manufacture of machine-made lace may be regarded 
as completely an offshoot from our own, inasmuch as it was quite 
unknown until some workmen from Nottingham established them- 
selves in the year 1817 at Calais, having taken with them a machine 
on the straight-bolt principle. Six years afterwards, this single 
machine had multiplied to thirty-five; and there are at present 
between 600 and 700 in full operation in and about the town of 
Calais alone, the improvements gradually effected at Nottingham 
having always been closely followed there. Bobbin- net and lace are 
also made by machinery at Lille, St Quentin, Lyon, and Cambrai. 
The last-mentioned place is remarkable for its admirable imitations 
of the beautiful black lace of Caen and Chantilly, the patterns of 
which are minutely copied, whilst the difference in price between 
the original and the imitation is 75 per cent. This particular 
branch of the trade is, as it deserves to be, in a most prosperous 
condition, and meets with extensive encouragement. Such is a 
brief account of the more valuable and important descriptions of 
foreign lace, to which, as having originally preceded all similar 
manufactures in our own country, attention was first due. We 
will now turn to the naturalisation of the art nearer home. 

The piliow-lace of England, an object of universal admiration, 

15 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

and one which finds a market in all civilised countries, is the 
production, almost exclusively, of four counties, three of which are 
by no means considerable in extent — Buckinghamshire, Bedford- 
shire, Northamptonshire, and Devonshire. Its introduction among 
us as a manufacture, may be referred, it is believed, to a period 
shortly anterior to the reign of Queen Elizabeth ; we have evidence 
that it was then well known, although regarded as sufficiently rare 
to be deemed a worthy offering to royalty itself. In the manifold 
accounts of gifts accepted by this acquisitive monarch from various 
grades of her subjects, lace finds honourable mention. It is on 
record that Sir Philip Sidney presented her majesty with a ' smock' 
of cambric, the sleeves and collar wrought with black silk, and 
edged with a small bone-lace ; whilst Mrs Twist, the court-laundress, 
contributed to the regal wardrobe three handkerchiefs of black 
Spanish work similarly adorned. Both high and low were appa- 
rently compelled to adopt this costly but direct road to the favour 
of their royal mistress. With regard to the manner in which 
a knowledge of lacemaking was originally communicated, the 
general opinion is, that for it, as for the silk trade and other 
valuable branches of manufacture, we are indebted to the religious 
persecutions so rife on the continent during the sixteenth century, 
which occasioned a tide of emigration to this country. There is 
one circumstance which would at first appear to cast a doubt on 
the truth of this supposition — namely, that so early as the year 
1483, lace was included in a list of articles of which the introduc- 
tion from abroad was prohibited ; the inference being of course 
that it could be produced by native industry. It was not, however, 
until 1543 that pins, which are essential to the manufacture of 
pillow-lace, were made here, or indeed brougiit to any perfection 
elsewhere ; it is probable, therefore, that any lace made in England 
at that early period was worked with the needle, and that the origin 
of our peculiar manufacture is really attributable to various bands 
of Flemish emigrants, who established themselves in the very same 
localities to which, three centuries later, the art they taught is 
still confined. It is rather a curious feature in the history of 
industrial pursuits, that each branch seems to take root and flourish 
almost exclusively in some particular district. This circumstance 
is not, however, remarkable, where any local advantage connected 
with the staple manufacture may be found to exist. That the 
northern counties, for instance, rich in the elemental privileges of 
fire and water, the very i thews and sinews 7 of a giant machinery, 
should excel in those productions of which it is the agent, may be 
readily accounted for : but that textures requiring no such adven- 
titious aid, the produce of mere hand-labour, which could be 
carried on in any place, and under almost any circumstances, 
should be peculiar to certain districts, is a fact worthy of notice. 
It is greatly to be regretted that every part of England should 
not have participated long ago in the benefits attaching to an 
acquaintance with the occupation of lacemaking', as it seems to 

16 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

offer fewer disadvantages than the majority of pursuits available 
for women. Previously, however, to the last ten years, few of 
the humbler classes, especially of the female sex, ever wandered 
many miles from the place of their birth, or acquired any ideas 
beyond those which its resources were calculated to afford. Hence 
opportunities for the diffusion and interchange of their know- 
ledge seldom or ever occurred, and it has, accordingly, remained 
stationary to the present day. 

The finer and more valuable quality of the Buckingham lace, as 
it is generally called, is produced chiefly within a circle of twelve 
miles round that town ; the second quality, which is that usually 
worn, being made in or about Bedford and Olney. There are, 
perhaps, few travellers old enough to remember the Great North 
-Koad in the palmy days of stage-coaches and post-chaises, who 
cannot also call to mind the contributions levied on their purses at 
the various inns at which they stopped in the lace-districts, for 
handsome specimens of the local industry. The writer recalls the 
time when the box of lace was as certain to succeed the dinner, as 
the profound bow of the waiter an extensive purchase or liberal 
gratuity, as the case might be. In many of the letters of the poet 
Cowper, dated from Olney, allusion is made to certain black lace 
in process of manufacture for his correspondent Lady Hesketh ; 
intended, probably, as a requital for the velvet cap, her gift to 
himself, which his poem has rendered immortal. If such were 
the case, there is little doubt that the lady had by far the better 
bargain. 

Laces of inferior quality to the classes already mentioned are 
principally made in the neighbourhoods of High Wycombe, in 
Buckinghamshire, and of Kettering and Wellingborough, in 
Northamptonshire. These l useful goods/ as they are technically 
termed, find a ready market in Manchester and other manufac- 
turing towns, and are largely exported to the colonies. North- 
ampton and its immediate vicinity is celebrated for a vast variety of 
delicate edgings, and narrow laces in general, and in these articles 
a thriving business is carried on. One very lucrative branch 
of the trade has, however, greatly declined during the last few 
years, in consequence, not of the elevation of some newer rival by 
a caprice of fashion, as the reader would imagine, but of the solemn 
dictum of the College of Surgeons. Laces of a certain width, deli- 
cately fine texture, and minute pattern, known as ' infants 7 laces/ 
once formed no inconsiderable proportion of the manufacture ; 
but the fiat went forth that children were to go bareheaded until 
nature should supply them with her own covering, and from that 
time the demand began to slacken. It is true that young mothers 
contended vigorously for this embellishment of the beauty of their 
offspring, but the stern voice of science eventually overcame the 
maternal pleadings ; and although caps for state occasions are still 
deemed necessary, the use of them as a habit is so generally given 
up, that the production of lace for such purposes can hardly 

17 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

be said to exist any longer as a separate branch of trade. Time 
was when the humblest mother would strain every nerve to secure 
a c bit of good lace for the christening-cap ; 7 and no less than 
L.1000 was, on one occasion, expended in English lace for the use 
of an expected scion of a ducal house. It has been hinted, that so 
fortunate a conjunction of circumstances for the replenishment of 
this department of the maternal wardrobe, was seldom lost sight 
of, but to the truth of this surmise the writer declines to testify. 

The majority of readers will no doubt have acquired, either 
from personal observation, or through the medium of the fine arts, 
a general idea of the manner in which' pillow-lace is produced, 
though the minute details may be unfamiliar to them. Our dis- 
tinguished countrymen, Stothard and Westall, frequently made it 
the subject of their designs in illustrating the peasant-life of 
England; but their representations, it must be admitted, depict 
the occupation under its most poetical aspect. A richly- wooded 
landscape, with the sun setting in the distance, and casting a 
mellow light over the still evening — and a cottage half-enve- 
loped in woodbine and ivy, usually occupying the foreground. 
A picturesque thoughtful-looking woman is seated at the doorway, 
busily plying her task, and apparently listening to the prattle of 
the chubby child at her knee. In the middle distance, to make 
the picture complete, the husband is wending his way homeward, 
shovel and mattock on shoulder. All these details are suggestive 
of a peace and repose almost worthy the Golden Age ; but although 
such scenes might occasionally greet the eye in real life, truth 
compels the admission that they would be exceptions to the rule in 
the history of lacemaking. This delicate fabric, the material of 
which is peculiarly liable to become discoloured, is rarely made in 
the open air, and never in the vicinity of a thoroughfare much 
frequented. It issues more commonly from a small close room, 
barely ten feet square, with crumbling walls and dim lattices ; a 
kind of appendage to the kitchen, or, as it is generally called, c the 
house/ and too often rendered close and unhealthy by the number 
of workers assembled there, and the absence of proper ventilation. 
None of the finest specimens of lace can be made in a room in 
which there is an open fire, the smallest particle of dust or puff of 
smoke necessarily tarnishing the purity of the work, and redu- 
cing its marketable value ; indeed, such constant caution in this 
respect is exercised, that a good lacemaker never leaves her 
pillow for ten minutes without covering it up with what is called 
a pillow-cloth. 

The cushion on which this lace is made consists simply of a 
coarse cloth envelope, tightly and evenly stuifed with straw ; the 
usual form being that of a slightly flattened globe. It varies a 
little in size, according to the taste or fancy of the user, and costs 
from Is. 3d. to 2s. 6d. To make it more sightly, it is usually 
covered with a piece of well-starched blue linen, or the material 
of which cotton-stockings are made, and is elevated on a wooden 

18 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

three-legged stand to a height convenient for use. The bobbins 
on which the thread is wound — of course very important agents 
in the work — are pieces of turned wood or ivory, about the size of 
a quill, and from three to four inches in length. They are marked 
towards the head with a slight groove, around which the thread 
is twined, and fastened with a slip-knot, admitting of its being 
lengthened as used up : the lower ends are ornamented with glass- 
beads, or similar trifles, which serve to distinguish one from the 
other. The number of bobbins varies according to the width of 
the lace, beginning with thirty or forty, and extending to many 
hundreds. 

It will probably have been observed by those whom circum- 
stances have rendered intimately acquainted with the details of 
the occupation, that the pillow of the lacemaker, with its gay 
appendages, becomes in time literally the chronicle of a life, an 
unwritten history of those great events which have at distant 
intervals varied the monotonous current of her days. It seems 
that among this class, especially in years gone by, the presentation 
of l a bobbin for my lace-pillow, 7 was regarded in much the same 
light that the offering of a bouquet to a lady would be at the 
present day. It spoke many languages ; was in turn a token 
of mere good-will, a mark of decided preference, or almost an 
offer of marriage. The intrinsic value of the gift was indeed but 
small, as plain wooden bobbins might be bought for three-halfpence. 
These were not, however, frequently presented, being devoid of 
6 spangles/ or, in common parlance, of the glass-beads generally 
appended to the lower end, and in which an opportunity was afforded 
for the display of taste and liberality. On the number and quality 
of these memorials depended the title of the worker to boast of a 
handsome pillow ; and it was by one pre-eminently fortunate in 
this respect that I was first initiated into the mysteries of their 
various significations. For example, one might be only a memento 
of a country holiday, some long-remembered merry-making, or 
visit to a neighbouring statute fair, generally described as 'a 
statty ; 7 another, the parting-gift of a fellow-servant ; a third, the 
propitiatory offering of a would-be lover ; a fourth, the only relic 
of the wild cousin who went to sea, and was drowned. Then, 
again, there would certainly be the cherished first-gift of c my 
husband ; 7 and, not less prized, that of i my girl, 7 the first time she 
ever c cut off, 7 or, in other words, disposed of her wares to a dealer. 
In short, a large proportion of the lacemaker's bobbins are the 
key-notes to many a memory of the past, and also occasionally to 
little histories of village-life, amusing enough to have detained the 
writer, no unwilling listener, at many a cottage-door. 

Having now considered the machinery by which lace is made, 
both in its practical and poetical aspect, we should glance at the 
details of the occupation itself. The first step in the commence- 
ment of the work is to stretch tightly on the pillow a strip of 
parchment, one-third of a yard in length, on which is pricked 

19 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

the pattern of the lace desired. The bobbins are hung in pairs 
on pins of the finest brass-wire, made expressly for the purpose, 
and called lace-pins. These regulate the progress of the work, 
and are stuck one by one into the perforated parchment. By 
various movements of the bobbins, the thread is entwined round 
these pins, and thus are produced small hexagon-shaped holes, 
each one of which requires fourteen twists of the thread to 
complete it; whilst the little square spots, known as plats, demand 
no less than forty. When we consider the various patterns of 
lace that are to be met with, and the consequent variety of detail 
in their manufacture, it is difficult to believe that all are produced 
by means of continuous threads. Such, however, is the case, the 
only exception being the gimp or thick silky thread which gene- 
rally forms the outline of the design, and in which a separation is 
often necessary. When the lace has progressed so much as to 
cover the whole of the parchment, the worker has to go through 
the delicate operation of setting up. This consists in carefully 
removing all the pins, giving the card on which the lace is wound, 
at the back of the pillow, a few additional turns, and matching 1 
the pattern at the top of the parchment. When this is happily 
accomplished, the work is resumed, great care having been taken 
not to twist or otherwise disarrange the bobbins during the 
process. 

During the winter season, when daylig'ht is of short duration, 
and it becomes necessary to carry on the work by candlelight, 
lacemakers are in the habit of using a wooden stand, perforated 
with holes, in which are inserted glass-flasks filled with pure 
water; and by this means the light is concentrated on the parti- 
cular spot which is required to be seen most distinctly. A single 
candle, placed amidst three bottles of water, will enable three 
persons to benefit fully and equally by the light, which is said 
to equal in brilliancy that afforded by a powerful gas-burner, 
and without the disadvantage of its glare. The preservation of 
their eyesight is so vitally important to the lacemakers, that 
they adopt of course every precaution within their reach. 

The manner of collecting lace for wholesale houses does not 
differ materially at the present day from the practice in former 
years. A merchant employing perhaps 400 or 500 hands, 
supplies his work-people with thread and parchment patterns, 
which latter are exchanged for new ones as often as the old 
become unsaleable. At intervals of six weeks, he gives notice 
that on a certain day he shall be at a particular town or village, 
when all his employees who live within a circuit of four miles 
bring- him whatever quantity of lace they may have produced 
since his last visit. I have learned from good authority, that such 
is the minute knowledge gained by constant experience, that the 
purchaser would have no difficulty in assigning each piece to 
its maker, even if the identical pattern had been followed by 
all. The price of the work is paid almost exclusively in moneV; 

20 



LACE AND LACEMAEING. 

though some few of the smaller manufacturers adhere to the truck- 
system. When the lace is thus collected, it is taken to London, 
as the principal mart, or to the more important manufacturing- 
towns, in which there is a large consumption, of the inferior kinds 
more especially. During the reign of George III., an act existed 
for the protection of these manufactures, foreign lace being strictly 
prohibited. It was declared forfeited, and liable to be seized by 
any officer, in whatever hands it might be found, L.200, half of 
which went to the informer, being the penalty exacted from the 
offender on proof of his delinquency. Those might certainly be 
regarded as the palmy clays of the English lacemaker, for the 
demand actually exceeded the production, and a quick and clear 
hand could earn, without difficulty, from 15s. to 20s. a week. Of 
later years, however, the large importation of lace from abroad, 
and the perfection of that made by machinery, have decreased 
to an almost incredible extent the value of Buckingham lace. I 
am assured by an experienced and very extensive lace-mer- 
chant of the present day, that he can now purchase, for Is. 6d. 
a yard, specimens of the fabric for which his father, some forty 
years ago, paid 5s. 6d. and 6s. This large reduction in the price 
has of course tended both to lower the quality and to diminish the 
scale of remuneration paid to the makers ; the chief object with 
the majority of dealers being to obtain a show}^ style of article at 
as small a cost as possible. In these days, few even of the more 
intelligent and expeditious workers can earn more than 4s. a week ; 
a still greater number gain only 3s. ; and 2s. 6d. is a sum more 
commonly paid than either. The question naturally arises in the 
mind, how these poor people can live, and scenes of great misery 
are indeed common among them. All, however, who are really 
industrious, can obtain 3s. 6d. a week; and on this pittance the 
majority keep themselves out of debt, and even make a respectable 
appearance. Of the number of persons employed in the occupa- 
tion, no reliable statistics exist ; but in the lace-districts, all the 
females of the lower classes between the ages of seven and 
seventy live by its means, with the excej^tion of those employed in 
household duties or domestic service. It is gratifying to know 
that their general moral character is decidedly good. 

In most of the villages in which lacemaking- is the ordinary pur- 
suit, schools are to be found for the instruction of young children 
in the art; and during the summer months, a humming sound, 
issuing from an open casement, will not fail to arrest the atten- 
tion of a passing stranger, and guide him to this industrious hive 
of busy bees. These may be regarded as the latest remains of the 
Dames' Schools, for they are generally kept by some ancient 
proficient in the art, whose failing eyesight demands repose from 
personal labour, though her energy may be quite capable of direct- 
ing the efforts of others. The price paid by each individual for 
her instruction is rarely more than twopence or threepence a week : 
and the children of the poor often continue to work at school long 

21 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

after the elementary difficulties of the occupation are mastered; 
the freedom from interruption by domestic sights and sounds, 
and the emulation arising* from companionship, being very favour- 
able to the progress of the work. A certain given task is generally 
allotted by the mistress to each girl, according to her capacity, and 
its execution is rigidly exacted. Sometimes, in order to vary the 
weary monotony of the day, a good-natured instructress will permit 
her pupils to sing a few verses of a hymn in concert, or to * count 
pins, 7 and by such slight diversion, to i cheat the lazy afternoon. 7 
This counting pins merely consists in two children of average 
skill being pitted against each other to accomplish a certain num- 
ber of holes in a given time, the one who has finished first literally 
singing out to her vanquished rival : i Five-and-twenty, Mary 
Jones. 7 Meanwhile, the next couple have been testing their 
dexterity, and the strain is quickly taken up by another tri- 
umphant competitor, who exclaims : ' Five-and-thirty, Susan Gale. 7 
Even this trifling exercise of the lungs has been found useful in 
keeping the attention awake, and in creating an interest in the 
mind, highly advantageous to work of any kind. 

This early and constant attention to the one pursuit, by which 
a living is to be gained, is not very favourable to a knowledge of 
women's duties in general ; and many years ago, when the oppor- 
tunity of learning needle-work was less easy of attainment than at 
the present day, some ladies residing in a lace-district endeavoured 
to remedy the deficiency by establishing a working-school on 
Saturday afternoons, the general half-holiday. The use of the 
National School-house was easily procured without expense, and 
an invitation was given to all the little lacemakers of the neigh- 
bourhood, to attend and receive instruction in a kind of work in 
which their own mothers were for the most part deplorably 
ignorant. This offer was eagerly and gratefully responded to ; 
the manual dexterity of the children needed only to be directed 
to the new channel, and enabled them to attain a proficiency 
which was quite remarkable, considering the limited time they 
could devote to practice. The periodical return of the working- 
day was anticipated with pleasure by the little pupils, many of 
whom walked two or three miles to secure the instruction. None 
were prevented from attending by poverty of attire, as a neat 
checked pinafore, costing less than a shilling, served to conceal 
both defects and deficiencies. The only matters needed for the 
support of this school were a few pounds of sewing-cotton, a 
gross or two of needles, and the willing services of a dozen young 
ladies as teachers, for three hours weekly. It continued in opera- 
tion for a very considerable time, leading often to other schemes of 
usefulness ; and although thirty years have elapsed since this 
scheme was first carried out, the advantages resulting from it did 
not end with the generation on whose behalf the labour of love 
was undertaken. 

It now only remains, in connection with the Buckingham lace, 
22 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

to say a few words respecting- the forms in which it is produced^ 
for the appearance of the fabric is so well known to all who take 
any interest in such matters, as to render a minute description of 
it a work of supererogation. These, then, are most commonly 
edgings and trimmings, varying* in breadth from a quarter of an 
inch to a quarter of a yard; although the latter width would pro- 
bably only be made to order, and of so fine a quality as to render 
the price more than proportionably high. The value is by no 
means estimated according to the width, a narrow lace of good 
quality being worth much more than a wider one of coarser texture. 
The patterns followed in the lower classes of the material are of 
an easy mechanical style, as a chain-work, or something equally 
simple — a gradual increase of delicacy and elaboration distinguish- 
ing the ascending scales, until the utmost perfection is attained. 
This consists not less in the beauty of the design, than in the intro- 
duction of various kinds of ornamentation, technically described as 
English point, Grecian pattern-work, spider and cloth work, &c.,, 
all executed consecutively with the work on the pillow. About 
forty years ago, a sensation was created by the application of 
Buckingham lace to circular and horseshoe forms, for insertion in 
infants 7 caps ; and also to lozenge-shaped pieces, some inches in 
diameter, for the adornment of ladies 7 headgear. Each piece was 
complete in itself, the pattern being especially adapted to the size 
and shape ; but as the novelty seemed at first to demand a more 
than average portion of intelligence, the production was confined 
to a few hands, and the luxury was an expensive one. Since that 
time, collars, cuffs, and lappets have been made in a single piece ; 
but the successful completion of articles larger in dimension has 
been reserved for our own day. A specimen of English lace, 
which, from its style and size, may be pronounced unique, was 
recently executed, under the auspices of Mr R. Vicars, Jun., of 
Padbury, in Buckinghamshire. It consisted of a scarf, about two 
yards and three-quarters long, and three-quarters wide, surrounded 
by a wreath-like pattern of flowers and foliage, in which the large 
passion-flower adorning each corner was particularly noticeable, 
as a triumph of skill. The centre, or groundwork, was studded 
with separate flowers, analogous to those in the border. This 
effective piece of work was made — alas for the secrets of trade t 
— in four strips, so dexterously joined as to defy with safety the 
most critical eye. The design, prepared by a local artist, was 
executed by three sisters — Susan, Ann, and Maria Salmon. I 
give their names ; for why should not the poor as well as the 
rich have c a passing paragraph of praise ? 7 They were employed 
upon it for eighteen weeks ; and, in consideration of their pre- 
eminent ability, and the importance of the task intrusted to them, 
were each remunerated by their employer at the comparatively 
high rate of 6s. a week. The beautiful result of their labours 
was submitted by Mr Yicars to the Queen, who became its 
purchaser. 

23 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

The white pillow-lace, to which alone reference has hitherto been 
made, is not the sole description of the manufacture for which 
Buckinghamshire is celebrated. About twenty years ago, during 
the reig'n of Swiss muslins as a fashion on the continent, the 
Parisian elegantes arrived at the conclusion, that their new favou- 
rites could only be seen to advantage in connection with the dull 
black mode cloak, trimmed with thread-lace of the same colour, so 
much in vogue among their grandmothers. The looms of Lyon 
were set in motion to reproduce the antiquated kind of silk once 
more in demand ; but the black lace, its necessary accompaniment, 
having fallen into complete disuse, was of no such easy attainment. 
Ancient wardrobes were ransacked, and second-hand pieces of the 
fabric eagerly bought up ; the services of the professed lacemender 
were in active requisition, for even the most dilapidated specimens 
found a market. Lace-pillows were set up, and bobbins put in 
motion, to meet the new and unexpected requisition • but as the 
proper material, black thread, had to be created, much black silk, 
of a dingy hue, was substituted in the interim, and the lace made 
of it was sold to the uninitiated at a high price. In due time, 
however, the genuine article was supplied, Buckinghamshire and 
its sister counties, in common with many seats of the manufacture 
abroad, profiting largely by this caprice of fashion, at a period of 
depression in other branches of the trade. Since then, the finest 
black thread-lace, in the shape of veils, lappets, head-dresses, &c 7 
has been numbered among our regular productions. Among 
these, too, have been recently included a novel description of lace 
called Maltese, which is made both in white and black, of stout 
texture, and very open patterns, and is at the present time much 
in favour, from its promise of durability. It does not differ mate- 
rially in style from the more elaborate laces used in decorative 
upholstery ; and as it readily admits of imitation by machinery, it 
will probably not continue as a fashion. 

- A curious example of ingenuity, in the adaptation to pillow-lace 
of a substance apparently little calculated for the purpose, was 
exhibited at the World's Fair in 1851, and excited some attention, 
even at a juncture when the demand for novelty induced so many 
experiments of a startling kind. It consisted of the previously 
unattempted union of spun-glass with spun-thread, the ground of 
the lace being made of the ordinary material; but the pattern 
composed of the finest spun-glass, of a delicate lilac colour. At 
some distance, this might have been mistaken for floss-silk ; and, 
even on a close examination, it was not easy to pronounce on the 
nature of the material. This combination was first suggested by 
a gentleman not belonging to the lace-trade; and his idea was 
carried out at Bedford. The impossibility of submitting this lace 
to the purifying influences of soap and water, together with the 
liability of the glass to break on meeting with any but the most 
tender treatment, must prevent its practical adoption, even if it be 
produced in any quantity ; but, as a curiosity, and as shewing the 

24 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

possibility of what would, prima facie, be deemed impossible, it 
possesses an interest of its own. 

In dwelling* longer on the productions, however excellent, of 
three of the English lace-counties, we should be guilty of injustice 
to the claims presented by the fourth, especially as Honiton lace, 
the peculiar manufacture of Devonshire, may be regarded as the 
most flourishing branch of our trade at the present day. The 
orioin attributed to it is similar to that of the Buckingham lace, 
various bands of emigrants from Flanders being supposed to 
have introduced the occupation, to them so familiar, at about the 
same period to those districts of England in which it has 
become naturalised. The truth of this tradition seems attested 
by the great similarity observable, even at the present day, be- 
tween certain varieties of Brussels and Devonshire lace. Some 
years after the accession of James I., the trade of lacemaking 
carried on about Honiton must have attained to comparative 
notice and prosperity. We derive evidence of this fact, curiously 
enough, from the old church-yard in that town, where a stone 
still exists to the memory of James Bidge, bone-lace dealer, who 
died in 1617, leaving a sum of money for the benefit of the poor 
of his native place. This circumstance affords proof that the 
purchase of the article from the poor who made it, and its subse- 
quent sale to the rich who wore it, was then a distinct and 
apparently not an unprofitable business. In the time of Charles I., 
Honiton lace is reported by several authorities to have been in 
general favour. A writer of the period, in reference to this par- 
ticular neighbourhood, says : ' Here is made abundance of bone- 
lace, a pretty toy now much in request.' * It evidently continued to 
advance in quality and in popular estimation, for in the year 1660 
a royal ordinance in France provided that a mark (of merit) 
should be affixed to thread-lace from England as well as from 
Flanders. This honour was not confined to any one variety, but 
applied equally to the Buckingham, or pillow-lace proper. Then, 
again, in 1753, we find among a number of premiums awarded at 
different times by the Anti-Gallican Society for the encourag-ement 
of our native lace-trade, that a sum of L.15 was bestowed on a 
certain Mistress Lydia Maynard of Honiton, in token of approval 
of six pair of ladies' lappets, unprecedented in beauty, which had 
been exhibited by her. 

Previously to the last twenty years, Honiton lace consisted 
merely of a plain net groundwork, to which were attached sprigs 
and borders, made separately on the pillow, of fine Antwerp 
thread. During the period at which machine-made net was 
unknown and unthought of, the production of this groundwork 
by hand-labour formed the most important department of the 

* The designation of bone-lace would seem to have had its origin in the em- 
ployment of bone-pins before the introduction of those of metal. Even at the 
present day, in Spain, pins manufactured from chicken-bones continue to be in 
use in the manufacture of lace. 

25 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

business. It appears that when plain net was made exclu- 
sively on the pillow, it was produced at a cost which in these 
days seems almost incredible. An old woman, who had been 
formerly in the trade, preserved, and occasionally exhibited as a 
curiosity, a piece of net about eighteen inches square, which she 
had ordered to be made just before the application of machinery to 
the manufacture, and for which, although entirely unornamented, 
she had paid no less than L.15. The same sized piece could 
be purchased a year or two afterwards for 15s., and may now 
be obtained for less than that number of pence: the expensive 
operation of making the material by hand has therefore long 
fallen into complete disuse, and there are only two or three per- 
sons now alive in the county who retain a knowledge of the 
process. This adoption of machine-made net as the groundwork 
of the lace necessarily threw a large number of women out of em- 
ployment ; and the dealers were obliged to lower the price of their 
wares, but unfortunately the demand for them did not increase in 
proportion, and a period of great depression and misery ensued. 
Things continued in this state for about twenty years, but at 
length Queen Adelaide made an effort to give some little impetus 
to the trade, by ordering a dress from Devonshire of Honiton 
sprigs sewn on machine net. Her example was by no means 
as extensively followed as might have been expected, and the 
business advanced by very slow degrees until her present Majesty 
decided on Honiton lace as the material for her bridal-dress. It 
was made at Beer, a small village near Seaton, on the coast of 
Devonshire, and consisted of sprigs united by a variety of delicate 
open-work ; the use of net as a foundation being advantageously 
dispensed with. This public evidence of Her Majesty's desire to 
patronise the productions of native industry, has been frequently 
repeated ; and on one occasion, a complete suit of Honiton lace to 
ornament a court-dress was supplied for the royal use, on which 200 
women had been employed. The example thus set, together with 
the great improvement latterly effected in the style of the lace, 
has thoroughly revived the trade. During the last few years, 
the demand has been enormous ; at one particular time so much 
exceeding the production, that the general quality of the material 
suffered from the haste with which it was made. The earnings 
of Honiton lacemakers have been, during the last four years, on 
an excellent scale, an average worker receiving upwards of 7s. a 
week, for ten hours 7 labour each day, whilst a really skilful and 
trustworthy hand can obtain even more. The number of persons 
employed in making Honiton lace has fluctuated immensely, 
decreasing at times to a few hundreds, and rising again, as at 
the present day, to 7000 or 8000. It now affords a living to 
the majority of females belonging to the lace-district, which is 
generally considered to extend about thirty miles along the coast, 
and twelve miles inland. It has been, however, more clearly 
defined as that tract of country which would be enclosed by a 

26 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

line from Seaton to Exmouth, up the river Exe to Exeter, back 
along the London road to Honiton, and thence to Seaton. 

Devonshire lace may, at the present time, be divided into two 
distinct classes. The original description, consisting* of the finest 
net sprigged and edged with a border more or less handsome, and 
called Honiton applique, is still very much used for veils, mantles, 
dresses, and larger articles of ladies 7 attire. The hand-labour 
bestowed upon it is much smaller in amount than that demanded 
by the other kind, and the price is proportionably lower. The 
second variety, distinguished as Honiton guipure, has been in- 
vented only within the last twenty years, but greatly surpasses its 
rival in beauty. It is not dissimilar in style from the old point, 
although very much lighter in texture : the separate sections of the 
pattern are in this case also united by delicate fibres, which in 
the best qualities of the lace are made on the pillow, forming, in 
fact, part of the pattern ; but in the less expensive specimens, they 
are made afterwards with a needle and thread. This beautiful lace, 
although exquisitely delicate, and tedious to make, may be met 
with occasionally on a large scale. Among the many admirable 
examples contributed to the Great Exhibition, was a flounce five 
yards long, on which forty women were employed for eight months, 
the time bestowed upon it being equal to nearly thirty years of 
one person's life. It is, however, most available for general use, 
and is therefore more commonly met with in the shape of caps, 
collars, sleeves, berthes, &c. The value of Honiton lace depends 
greatly on the comparative closeness of its texture : when met with 
in perfection, it is little if at all inferior to the best foreign laces ; in 
colour, it may almost be said to have the advantage of them. Great 
attention has recently been directed towards improving the patterns, 
which are now particularly clear and defined. Until the last year 
or two, it had been found necessary to borrow largely from the 
taste of the French ; but, happily, the pupils of the London and 
Nottingham Schools of Design are now able to supply patterns 
worthy the most careful and elaborate execution, and there exists 
no obstacle to the further prosperity of the trade. 

I must not conclude a notice of the British hand-made laces 
without adverting to the strenuous and most successful efforts 
which have been and are now making in Ireland to naturalise this 
valuable branch of productive industry among her peasantry. 
That variety of the fabric which first gained for Ireland acknow- 
ledgment as a lacemaking country, has been long familiar to us 
under the name of Limerick lace, and consists of a net ground- 
work on which patterns are embroidered by hand in a kind of 
tambour stitch, or chain-work. This mode of ornamentation has 
recently arrived at great perfection, the effect of shading being 
given by judicious alternations of heavy and light embroidery. 
Some idea of the great distinctions of quality in this lace may be 
formed from the circumstance that, although dresses composed of 
it average from two to -Q.Ye guineas each, one single flounce may 

27 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

be worth no less than thirty guineas ; the difference being* not in 
the method of ornamenting*, but in the extent to which it is carried. 
Although the Limerick lace, which once constituted the Irish 
trade, is still its most important branch, many other beautiful 
varieties now divide with it the attention of the manufacturer. 
Among these, I must briefly enumerate the guipure, which con- 
sists of muslin cut out and sewn over at the edge, the vacancies 
being tilled up with separate links made with the needle : it par- 
takes a little of the character of the antique lace, which is, however, 
still more closely imitated in the kind called Irish old Point, which 
has really a good claim to this appellation. Pillow-laces, both 
white and black, have also been included in the recent experi- 
ments ; among* these are a very fair quality of Valenciennes, and 
of the new Maltese lace, the latter being chiefly confined to the 
province of Galway • all the specimens are of a character highly 
creditable to a country which has so recently adopted the 
manufacture as its own. 

Passing from hand-made lace to that produced by machinery, I 
must premise that there were many claimants for the honour of a 
discovery so important. It is, however, generally acknowledged to 
be due to a framework-knitter of Nottingham, named John Ham- 
mond, who, in the year 1760, was inspired with the happy idea of 
applying the common stocking- frame, or rather a variety used for 
making* eyelet-holes in the clocks of stockings, to the purpose of 
imitating the plain Brussels ground. In this experiment he suc- 
ceeded, and produced the material technically called single press 
Point. So soon after this achievement, that it might appear to be 
almost simultaneous with it, numerous imitators devoted their 
attention to the plan, and amidst them all, we lose sight of the 
originator. In this instance, probably, as in many others, the fruits 
of the discovery were reaped by those who had but an indirect 
and secondary claim to them. From this time forth, alterations 
and experiments in machinery Avere perpetually being made, but 
we hear of no important addition to the previous knowledge on the 
subject until the invention of the warp-frame about the year 1775. 
This has been ascribed to four persons — Vandyke, a Dutchman ; 
Mr Morris, of Nottingham ; Mr Clare, of Edmonton ; and Mi- 
Marsh, of Moorfields, London. A contemporary historian of the 
county of Nottingham, although mentioning three of these names, 
inclines to the opinion that the merit is due to a mechanic named 
Crane. It is certainly easy to believe that a large proportion of 
these valuable improvements suggested themselves to the minds of 
those whose daily occupation would render them keenly alive to 
existing* deficiencies, and whose practical experience, when united 
with intelligence, would be a valuable assistance in the task of 
remedying* them. The chief difference between the principle of 
the warp and the old stocking-frame consisted in this circumstance 
■ — that whilst only one single thread is requisite in the latter 
machine, the number used by the former was in proportion to the 

28 






LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

quantity of needles employed. The warp-machine was not applied 
for some time to the manufacture of net, but to that of silk stock- 
ings, marked with a blue and white zigzag* pattern, called the 
Vandyke. It has been suggested, that this was in honour of the 
claimant of the invention whose name we have mentioned among 
others ; but the term universally applied to that form, dates its 
origin from a Vandyck of infinitely greater genius and renown. 
In the year 1785, a person named James Tarratt introduced great 
improvements in the warp, by which its speed was doubled, and 
its width extended from sixteen inches to forty-four ; and about 
the same time, a mechanic applied to it the rotatory motion. 

It seems strange that there is no proof of the manufacture of 
lace by the warp principle until somewhere about 1808, although it 
was an article in sufficient demand to keep 1800 point-net frames 
constantly employed. At that juncture, two persons, named 
Brown and Pindar, succeeded in making silk-net with what they 
termed an upright warp-frame, from the needles being placed in 
an upright position instead of horizontally. A hundred and twenty 
of these were soon afterwards at work in Nottingham ; and so 
important was this branch of the trade esteemed, that the wages 
of the workmen were never less than L.2, 10s. a week. Cotton- 
lace then began to be made from the horizontal w^arps ; but the 
earlier specimens were of a very inferior description, and numerous 
attempts at improvement were made. Mechlin net was invented, 
and proved so excellent, both in appearance and quality, as quite 
to supersede the point-net, which, as the reader may remember, 
was the first made by machinery. Four hundred and thirty frames 
were quickly employed upon it, the mechanics being paid upon an 
average L.4 a week, and the cotton used costing L.15 for a pound- 
weight. From this time, the point-net trade declined, and finally 
expired altogether. It is a curious fact, that in no other depart- 
ment of textile manufacture has there been so great a multiplicity 
of different machines brought to bear ; each one speedily supersed- 
ing its predecessor by increased capability or simplicity of con- 
struction. Thus the Mechlin net, although considered at first as 
a most triumphant result of the manifold experiments which had 
been made, was destined to be cast into the shade by a new dis- 
covery, of which the value and perfection are attested by the 
permanent favour which has distinguished it. 

The bobbin-net machine, invented in the year 1809 by Mr 

John Heathcote, of Tiverton, derived its name from the fact that 

the thread which made the lace was supplied partly from bobbins 

and partly from a warp ; the bobbins passing from back to front, 

and front to back, whilst a lateral motion was imparted to the 

warp-threads, and one series were caused to wrap round the other. 

The first successful example was patented for fourteen years ; and 

Mr Heathcote established his manufactory at Loughborough, 

where it was carried on for seven or eight years. His removal to 

Tiverton was occasioned by the furious attacks made on his lace- 

29 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

frames during the continuance of the Luddite riots. By this name 
was known an extensive conspiracy among* the workmen, directed 
to the destruction of machinery, and resulting* from a general 
attempt to reduce the very high rate of wages they had been 
in the habit of receiving. These disturbances lasted at intervals 
from 1812 to 1817, spreading over several counties, and were not 
put down until many who took part in them had atoned for their 
outrages with their lives. The bobbin-net machine, although 
very valuable from its entire novelty, was at first complex in its 
arrangements — one single hole in the fabric now completed by 
six motions, then requiring sixty. The expense of its production, 
too, was so great as to circumscribe its use ; for we find that, in 
1815, when 140 of these frames were at work, one square yard of 
net was worth 30s., the same quantity being now attainable for 
3d. From this time, however, the trade rapidly extended, absorb- 
ing, in the year 1831, a capital of L. 2,3 10,000, and affording 
employment to 211,000 persons. The cotton Mechlin, as we have 
already mentioned, entirely disappeared before the superior attrac- 
tions of bobbin-net ; and another production of the warp-machines, 
called blonde, which, soon after its invention, had obtained a great 
repute, the wages of the workmen being, it is said, as high as L.10 
a week, had suffered considerably from the large importations of 
French silk-lace, their mode of dressing or stiffening being superior 
to our own. Altogether, the warp-trade was in a most depressed 
condition ; many of the machines were broken up as no longer of 
use, or sold for old iron, when some adventurous persons thought 
of employing them in a new direction, and were able to give a 
fresh impulse to this branch of Nottingham manufacture. 

Hitherto all machine-made net had been produced in a perfectly 
plain state ; that portion of it which it was desired to ornament 
being embroidered by hand. It had been the practice to extend 
the full width of the material in a kind of tambour-frame, the 
pattern selected being then worked in gimp or coarse thread by 
women or children. They were supplied with large drawings, 
and by carefully observing the course taken by the thread among 
the meshes of the net, were able to copy them with great exact- 
ness. This was, however, a slow and laborious process, and the 
idea of ornamentation by machinery, when once conceived, was 
seized upon with the greatest avidity. To the warp-frame, driven 
from its former occupation by the bobbin-net, is due the merit of 
leading the way in what has become a most important department 
of the lace-trade. The first designs were very simple, being 
merely spots and bullet-holes ; but a new description of net was 
produced called mock-twist, in imitation of bobbin-net. From 
these originated the tatting-trade; machines, before worthless, 
rose to great value, and new ones were erected, as this warp-tatting 
was thought to promise much for the future. Whilst this success 
was at its height about the year 1830, the silk-net also obtained 
renewed attention, in consequence of the favour extended to it by 

30 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

the court ; but only five years later, both silk-blonde and cotton- 
tatting" had greatly fallen in general estimation. This fact may 
be easily explained: the bobbin-net machines had once more 
excelled their forerunners, and Heathcote's ornamented laces and 
plain-silk bobbin-net had taken precedence of all others. The 
unemployed warps were again unoccupied ; some were applied to 
making gimps, &c, but a greater number to the production of 
lace-gloves and mittens, which were for some time in great 
request. 

In 1839, the Jacquard machine was applied by Mr Draper, of 
Nottingham, to both bobbin-net and warp, and so very much 
increased their capabilities for ornamentation, that at the present 
time there is scarcely a machine at work without it, excepting 
those purposely adapted for plain net. Such an impetus was 
given to the trade, that hundreds of machines which were useless, 
or, as it is called, worked up, were again made available ; and many 
of their owners, after spending perhaps L.80 in alterations, were 
able to regain their outlay in the course of a few weeks. It was 
evident, however, that to succeed in the more elaborate branches 
of lace-making in the flounces, shawls, &c, which were now 
attempted, beautiful and tasteful patterns were required, unless we 
could be content always to borrow from our continental neigh- 
bours. To obviate this necessity, a School of Design was established 
at Nottingham ; and it has borne such abundant fruits in increasing 
the facility and elevating the taste of the local designers, that 
there is little doubt that they might honourably sustain their 
reputation in a competition with foreign rivals. 

Having thus endeavoured to give a connected though slight 
account of the principal events in the past history of machine- 
made lace, it only remains to enumerate the varieties in the 
machinery and their productions, which have survived these 
manifold fluctuations, and extended the fame of our Nottingham 
manufacturers at the present day. By means of the Leavers, a 
machine called after its first constructer, are made black silk 
piece-nets, ornamented ; piece-blondes in white and other colours ; 
scarfs, shawls, flounces, and trimming laces, some finished entirely 
by machine-power, and others partly embroidered by hand. From 
the pusher-machine — so called from having independent pushers 
to propel the bobbins and carriages from back to front — are made 
mantles, flounces, and similar articles of a superior description, 
having the pattern traced with a thick thread by hand-labour. 
A new manufacture has been introduced since 1846, consisting of 
good imitations of Swiss curtains and blinds, which, although so 
recently commenced, employs a hundred machines of the kind 
called circular, from the bolts or combs on which the carriages 
pass being made circular instead of straight, as in the straight-bolt 
machines ; this promises to continue an important and improving 
branch. Lastly, a few traverse- warp machines are employed, chiefly 

in manufacturing spotted lace, blonde edgings, and imitation thread- 
si 



LACE AND LACEMAKING. 

laces. They derive their name from the warp traversing* instead 
of the carriages; as in the circular and pusher machines. Of these 
various articles, perhaps the most important are the plain piece- 
nets and blondes, the constant demand for which keeps 2000 
machines in continual occupation. The latter material has entirely 
lost the reproach which attached to it in former times, of being* 
inferior as regards dressing- to the French blondes. It is now 
produced perfect in colour and finish, and affords employment to 
many thousands of artisans. Additional improvement has been 
effected in it by the adoption of the foreign method of workings 
the silk, in a single thread and in a raw state, instead of the 
organzine thrower, which had been previously used here. 

Such is a brief sketch of the lace manufacture, from the days 
of its infancy to those of its prime. If it is an art which has 
supplied directly no marked requirement in the necessities of the 
world, or advanced no great principle in its progress, it has not 
failed to fulfil, in the sphere allotted to it, its own peculiar duty. 
For many centuries it has afforded employment and means of 
support to thousands of that sex which, possessing so few industrial 
resources, has occasioned increasing anxiety to the philanthropist 
and statesman. The words of a Cynic philosopher, that f the 
wants of the poor might be covered, by the trimmings of the 
vain/ have often been quoted with emphasis by the ' unco guid. ; 
We accept this truth in a wider and more liberal sense than they 
attributed to it ; and bless God that, as he has ordained 6 the poor 
shall never cease out of the land/ the superfluities and refinements 
of the rich are so often made subservient to their necessities. 





HISTOKY OF THE MORMONS. 




| HE origin, growth, and present condition of 

'ii the singular sect calling' themselves the ■ Church 
of Latter-day Saints/ form a curious and instruc- 
tive chapter in the history of fanaticism. Within 
the space of twenty years since they first sprung into 
existence, they have gone on rapidly increasing in 
influence and numbers, and are now an established 
S*0^ and organised society, amounting to not less than 300,000 
?\ people. They have borne the brunt of calumny and misre- 
v presentation, endured the severest persecutions, and, in spite 
of every conceivable obstruction, triumphantly vindicated the 
earnestness and sincerity of their mistaken faith, and the practical 
objects which they have considered it their special mission to realise 
in the world. Their progress within the last ten years has been 
extraordinarily rapid, and is utterly unparalleled in the history of 
any other body of religionists. They are now a distinct and 
No. 53. 1 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

peculiar community, with a complete and effective organisation ; 
they possess and enjoy in common great wealth and material 
resources; their final settlement of Utah or Deseret, in New 
California, is in the highest degree flourishing, peaceable, and 
orderly; and they appear not unlikely to become an important 
and independent nation, whose influence, politically and socially, 
may be expected to affect, and possibly to modify, the older and 
neighbouring forms of civilisation. To trace the beginnings and 
progressive advancements of so remarkable a people, and thus to 
render their opinions, actions, sufferings, and successes familiar to 
a more extensive class of readers, may be considered work not 
unsuitable for us in the present pages; and therefore, with as 
much impartiality, soberness, and fair appreciation as may be at 
our command, and without any disposition or temptation to speak 
contemptuously of their peculiarities, we will here endeavour to 
represent these much-derided Mormons and their proceedings in 
such a way as shall seem warranted by their actual character 
and achievement®. 

It is generally known that the founder and acknowledged 
c prophet ' of this people was a young man named Joseph Smith. 
Between twenty and thirty years ago, when he first attracted 
notice, he was living with his father on a small farm near the town 
of Manchester, in the state of New York. He is said to have been 
a person of a loose and irregular way of life, and this was afterwards 
urged as an objection to his pretensions ; but he used to reply con- 
fidently, that he had never done anything so bad as was reported 
of King David, whom his orthodox enemies could not consistently 
deny to have been * a man after God's own heart.' That he was a 
good deal of a sinner, there is sufficient reason to believe, but yet 
it does not appear that he was given up for any length of time to 
habitual and confirmed wickedness. Very early in life he had 
decided impressions of the religious sort, and his mind seems from 
the first to have taken a fanatical and> enthusiastic turn. We are 
told that when he was l about fourteen or fifteen years of age, he 
began seriously to reflect upon the necessity of being prepared for a 
future state of existence.' He used to retire to a secret place in a 
grove, a short distance from his father's house, and there occupy 
himself for many hours in prayer and meditation. Once when 
so engaged, he c saw a very bright and glorious light in the 
heavens above, which at first seemed to be at a considerable 
distance ;' but as he continued praying, i the light appeared to be 
gradually descending towards him, and as it drew nearer, it 
increased in brightness and magnitude, so that by the time it 
reached the tops of the trees, the whole wilderness around was 
illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner.' The account 
of this vision, which is given by a Mormon apostle, Mr Orson 
Pratt, goes on to say, that the light ' continued descending slowly, 
until it rested upon the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of 
it. When it first came upon him, it produced a peculiar sensation 

2 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

throughout his whole system; and immediately his mind was 
caught away from the natural objects with which he was sur- 
rounded, and he was inwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw 
two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in 
their features and likeness. 7 These wondrous beings informed 
him that his sins were forgiven; and they furthermore disclosed 
to him, that all the existing religious denominations were ' believ- 
ing in incorrect doctrines ; 7 and that, consequently, c none of them 
was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom. 7 He was 
expressly forbidden to attach himself to any of them, and received 
a promise that in due time ' the true doctrine, the fulness of the 
gospel/ should be graciously revealed to him ; c after which the 
vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of calmness and 
peace indescribable. 7 

But inasmuch as Joseph was very young, and was assailed from 
time to time by those inevitable temptations which beset the carnal 
mind, he subsequently became l entangled in the vanities of the 
world, 7 and for awhile demeaned himself so much like a c vessel 
of dishonour, 7 as to be rendered temporarily unfit for seeing visions. 
Moved eventually, however, to repentance and amendment, and 
again devoting himself to the habit of secret prayer, this gift 
again returned to him. On the 21st of September 1823, the 
miraculous light reappeared, and 'it seemed as though the house 
was filled with consuming fire. 7 Its sudden appearance, as afore- 
time, i occasioned a shock of sensation ; 7 and what is more remark- 
able, we learn that it was * visible to the extremities of the body. 7 
This time only a single c personage 7 stood before him. 'His 
countenance was as lightning, 7 yet of so 6 pleasing, innocent, and 
glorious an appearance, 7 that, as the visionary beheld it, every fear 
was banished from his heart, and an indescribable serenity per- 
vaded and possessed his soul. c This glorious being declared 
himself to be an angel of God, sent forth by commandment to 
communicate to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his 
prayers were heard ; and also to bring the joyful tidings, that the 
covenant which God made with ancient Israel concerning their 
posterity, was at hand to be fulfilled ; that the great preparatory 
work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to com- 
mence ; that the time was at hand for the gospel in its fulness to 
be preached in power unto all nations, that a people might be 
prepared with faith and righteousness for the millennial reign of 
universal peace and joy. 7 The reader, doubtless, is now prepared 
to hear, that on this occasion Joseph received an intimation that 
he was ' called and chosen to be an instrument in the hands of 
God to bring about some of his marvellous purposes in this glorious 
dispensation. 7 By way of preparing him for the work, the brilliant 
c personage 7 gave him some verbal revelations, informing him, 
amongst other things, that the American Indians were a remnant 
of Israel ; that when they originally emigrated to America they 
were a pious and enlightened people, enjoying the peculiar favour 

3 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

and blessing of God ; that prophets and inspired writers had been 
appointed to keep a sacred history of events transpiring* among" 
them ; that the said history was handed down for many genera- 
tions, till at length the people fell into great wickedness, and 
afterwards the records were hidden, c to preserve them from the 
hands of the wicked/ who were seeking to destroy them; that 
these records contained ' many sacred revelations pertaining to the 
gospel of the kingdom, as well as prophecies relating to the great 
events of the last days ; ' and that, finally, the time was come 
when, to accomplish the divine purposes, they were to be brought 
forth to the knowledge of the people. Joseph Smith was given to 
understand that, if he should prove faithful, he was to be the 
instrument favoured in bringing these sacred writings before the 
world. And with this announcement the shining personage dis- 
appeared, although he seems to have come back twice in the course 
of the night to repeat his communication, and to add a thing* or 
two he had forgotten. 

Up to this time Joseph Smith had been in the habit of working 
on his father's farm, and on the morning after this vision he went 
to his labour as usual, apparently not supposing that his mission 
as a messenger of a new and peculiar gospel was yet to be com- 
menced. But while he was at work, the angel again appeared 
to him, and gave him direct instructions to go and 'view the 
records/ which for many ages had been deposited in a place 
which was pointed out to him. This was ' on the west side of a 
hill, not far from the top/ about four miles from Palmyra, in the 
county of Mayne, and near the mail-road, which leads thence to 
the little town of Manchester. Oliver Cowdery, a i witness of 
the faith/ who visited the spot in 1830, has favoured us with 
a minute description of it, mingled with various of his personal 
speculations concerning the position of the records at the time 
they were discovered. He says, innocently : c How far below 
the surface these records were placed I am unable to say ; but 
from the fact that they had been some 1400 years, and that, too, 
on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that they 
were some feet below. 7 Oliver is willing to i leave every man to 
draw his own conclusion/ and proceeds : i Suffice to say, a hole of 
sufficient depth was dug. ; At the bottom of this was found 'a 
stone of suitable size, the upper surface being' smooth; at each 
edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, 
at the four edges of this stone were placed, erect, four others, their 
bottom edges resting in the cement at the outer edges of the first 
stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box ; the 
corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also 
cemented so firmly, that the moisture from without was prevented 

from entering The box was sufficiently large to admit a 

breastplate, such as was used by the ancients to defend the chest 
from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom 
of the box, or from the breastplate, arose three small pillars, 

4 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

composed of the same description of cement used on the edges; 
and upon these three pillars were placed the records.' 

While contemplating* this extraordinary treasure with great 
astonishment, Joseph Smith became aware of the presence of the 
angel who had previously visited him, and who now, with due 
solemnity, called on him to c Look ! ' i And as he thus spake/ 
says the Mormonite apostle before quoted, c he beheld the Prince 
of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. 
All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said : 
" All this is shewn, the good and the evil, the holy and 
impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness, that you 
may know hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or 
overcome by the wicked one. You cannot at this time obtain 
this record, for the commandment of God is strict, and if ever 
these sacred things are obtained, they must be by prayer and 
faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here 
for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this 
world, they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of the 
knowledge which they contain ; they are of no worth among the 
children of men only for their knowledge. In them is contained 
the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to 
his people on this land ; and when it shall be brought forth by the 
power of God, it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of Whom many 
will receive it ; and after will the seed of Israel be brought into 
the field of their Redeemer by obeying it also. 77 ' 

Joseph had to wait four years before the records were finally 
delivered by the angel into his hands. During that time, how- 
ever, he had numerous interviews with the c heavenly messenger/ 
and i frequently received instructions' from his mouth. At length, 
on the morning of the 22d of September 1827, when he was about 
two-and-twenty years of age, he was formally permitted to take 
possession of his discovery. ' These records/ says our authority, 
Mr Pratt, 6 were engraved on plates which had the appearance of 
gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in 
width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They 
were filled on both sides with engravings in Egyptian characters, 
and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and 
fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. 
This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of 
which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed 
part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book 
exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as 
much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found 
" a curious instrument, called bv the ancients the TJrim and 
Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as 
crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use in ancient 
times by persons called seers. It was an instrument, by the use 
of which they received revelation of things distant, or of things 
past, or future." ' 

5 



HISTORY OP THE MORMONS. 

Being* in an unknown tongue, the book required to be translated 
before its contents could be intelligibly communicated to mankind; 
and Joseph having now provided for himself a separate home, 
straightway commenced turning this ancient record into what 
he probably regarded as the ' American language.' It seems he 
translated * by the gift and power of God, through the means of 
the Urim and Thummim ; and being a poor writer, he was under 
the necessity of employing a scribe to write the translation as it 
came from his mouth. ? In this way the work proceeded, as Mr 
Smith's c pecuniary circumstances would permit/ until he had 
finished what he describes as the c unsealed portion of the records. 7 
This is that part of Joseph's revelations which is styled the 
Book of Mormon, the recognised Bible of the Latter-day Saints, 
and which is deemed by them of equal authority with the Hebrew 
and Christian Scriptures, and represented to contain that c fulness 
of the gospel' which was to be revealed in the latter days. 

"When this astonishing volume was completed, and lay at length 
legibly in fair manuscript, there arose an obvious difficulty respect- 
ing its publication. As no man is accounted a prophet in his own 
country, who would believe the miraculous story about its origin, 
and the way in which the work had been brought to light 1 How 
was any one to know that it was not utterly a fabrication, and that 
Joseph Smith, junior, was not an arrant knave and impostor? 
Assuredly there ought to be witnesses to testify concerning* the 
facts set forth, and vouch in some sort for the credibility of Mr 
Joseph Smith's pretensions. This circumstance was accordingly 
provided for; witnesses, such as could be got, were providentially 
6 raised up' in the persons of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, 
and Martin Harris ; and the testimony which they sent forth was 
to the effect, that the original plates had been shewn to them by an 
angel. This statement was presently supported by eight other wit- 
nesses, who testify expressly that ■ Joseph Smith, junior, the trans- 
lator of this work, has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been 
spoken, which have the appearance of gold ;, as many of the leaves 
as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands ; 
.... and we know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates 
.... and we give our names unto the world of that which we have 
seen ; and we lie not, God bearing witness to it.' It might strike 
a sceptic as a suspicious circumstance, that the ' eight,' with one 
exception, belong to two families, evidently on terms of intimacy 
with each other ; and further, that three of them belong to the 
family of Joseph Smith — being, in fact, his father and two brothers : 
but this, to a genuine believer in the prophet's claims, no doubt 
appears to be a consideration of no manner of moment. Certain 
it is, that from this point Joseph rises before us as the conspicuous 
founder of a sect, and begins to draw after him no inconsiderable 
number of converts. 

Having made known his doctrine and pretensions to various 
persons, it was not unnatural that the wonderful plates should 

6 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

fee a good deal talked about, and that some should even hesitate 
to believe unless they might be permitted to get sight of them. 
It was this difficulty which seems to have first suggested the 
publication of the statements of the witnesses. Among the first 
three, it will be seen, stands the name of Martin Harris ; who — 
though in the subscribed document he professes to have seen the 
plates— was clearly not so privileged at the time when he first 
shewed a disposition to join the sect. Martin Harris was a farmer, 
whose religious opinions had for a long while been unsettled ; he 
having been successively a member of the Society of Friends, a 
Wesleyan, a Baptist, and a Presbyterian ; and on making Joseph 
Smith's acquaintance, was already prepared for another chang*e. 
Having ' more credulity than judgment/ he was at once captivated 
by the doctrines and pretensions of the youthful prophet, and 
generously lent him fifty dollars to enable him to translate and 
publish his new Bible. While the work of translation was going 
on, Harris often desired to see the plates ; but Joseph, with more 
than a prophet's cautiousness, invariably refused to shew them, 
alleging, as a sufficient reason for the refusal, that Mr Harris was 
* not of pure heart enough ' to be allowed a sight of such extra- 
ordinary treasures. However, he at length consented to make a 
transcript of a portion of them on paper, and presenting him with 
this, he told him that if he wished to be satisfied about the character 
of it, he might submit it to any learned scholar in the world. 
Smith could hardly have anticipated the consequences of this pro- 
ceeding. Martin Harris, being an earnest man, went off with the 
paper to New York, and obtained an introduction to Professor 
Anthon, a gentleman well known both in America and Europe for 
his serviceable editions of the classics. The result of the interview 
was not known until three or four years afterwards, when the 
JBook of Mormon, apparently through Mr Harris's assistance, 
had been published. Then, as a report was spread abroad by the 
Mormons that the professor had seen the plates, and pronounced 
the inscriptions to be in the Egyptian character, that gentleman 
was requested to declare whether such was actually the fact. In 
a letter written in February 1834, the professor says distinctly 
that the whole story is a falsehood. Some years before, Martin 
Harris had called on him with a paper filled with e all kinds of 
crooked characters, disposed in columns,' which c had evidently 
been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a 
book containing various alphabets :' there were rude distortions 
of Greek and Hebrew letters ; Roman letters inverted or placed 
sideways ; with crosses and flourishes interspersed throughout ; and 
1 the whole ended with a rude delineation of a circle, divided into 
compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently 
copied after the Mexican calendar, given by Humboldt, but copied 
in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. 7 
Some time after, the farmer paid him a second visit, bringing 
with him the printed. Book of Mormon, of which he begged the 

7 



HISTOKY OF THE MORMONS. 

professor to take a copy. That gentleman endeavoured to convince 
him that he had been imposed upon, and advised him to apply to 
a magistrate, and get the thing investigated. Harris, however, 
expressed a fear that if he did so c the curse of God 7 would come 
upon him. But on being* pressed, he said that he would take 
steps to have the matter examined into, if the professor would 
take the c curse ' upon himself. To this the latter good-naturedly 
consented, and the poor man took his leave in a state of much 
hesitation and perplexity. 

One can perceive from this what sort of stuff Mr Harris's head 
was made of, and can readily judge of the value of his c testimony* 
in regard to Mormonism and its pretensions. The presumption 
is, that the other witnesses were persons of similarly confused 
minds, or that they consciously participated in a fraud. At any- 
rate, we do not find that any other individuals, Mormonites or 
otherwise, ever professed to have seen the plates ; and certainly, 
of late years, all knowledge or account of them has been confessedly 
traditional. When unbelievers say : ' Shew us the gold plates, 
the original records of the Book of Mormon/ the Mormonite 
replies : l Shew us the original manuscripts of any part of the Old 
or New Testaments/ and conceives that to be sufficient to silence 
all gainsay ers. As to the book itself, the Mormons implicitly 
accept it ; its origin and authenticity, as Smith and his associates 
have represented them, are matters of pure faith ; no true Mor- 
monite entertains a doubt about the genuineness or plenary inspi- 
ration of the volume. The general belief concerning it is thus 
summed up by one of the ' apostles/ in a publication called the 
Voice of Warning : — i The Book of Mormon contains the history 
of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the 
house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph, of whom the Indians are 
still a remnant ; but the principal nation of them having fallen in 
battle in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose 
name was Mormon, saw fit to make an abridgment of their history, 
their prophecies, and their doctrine, which he engraved on plates, 
and afterwards being' slain, the records fell into the hands of his 
son Moroni, who, being hunted by his enemies, was directed to 
deposit the record safely in the earth, with a promise from God 
that it should be preserved, and should be brought to light in the 
latter days by means of a Gentile nation who should possess the 
land. The deposit was made about the year 420, on a hill then 
called Cumora, now in Ontario County, where it was preserved in 
safety until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry 
of angels, and translated by inspiration. And the great Jehovah 
bare record of the same to chosen witnesses, who declare it to the 
world. ? 

Overlooking the incidental statement of Professor Anthon, the 
account so far given of the Book of Mormon will be understood 
to be that of the Mormonites themselves ; but there remains to be 
presented another relation of its origin, which the American 

8 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

opponents of Mormonism consider to be the true one. According* 
to this account, it would appear that, in the year 1809, a man of 
the name of Solomon Spaulding, who had formerly been a clergy- 
man, and had afterwards failed in business, having* his attention 
attracted by the notion, which at that time excited some interest 
and discussion, that the North American Indians were descendants 
of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it struck him that the idea might be 
turned to account as the groundwork of a religious novel. He 
accordingly set about a work of that description, which he entitled, 
The Manuscript Found ; and labouring* at it at intervals for three 
years, he in that time completed it. Two of the principal charac- 
ters in this production are Mormon and his son Moroni — the same 
who act so large a part in Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon. The 
reason for this coincidence will presently appear. In the year 
1812, Spaulding* shewed his manuscript to a printer named, Patter- 
son, residing* at Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania ; but before any 
satisfactory arrangement had been made in reg'ard to its publica- 
tion, the author died, and the manuscript is said to have remained 
for some time thereafter in Mr Patterson's possession. While 
here, it came under the notice of a compositor in his employ, 
named Sidney Rigdon, who was also a preacher in connection 
with some Christian sect, whose proper designation has not been 
stated. Rigdon appears to have borrowed the manuscript, and, 
according* to one account, it would seem to have been in his hands 
when Mr Patterson died in 1826. Spaulding's widow, however, 
states that it had been returned to her husband before his death in 
1816, and that it was subsequently read by several of her friends. 
But after her husband's decease, she seems to have spent the next 
three years in visiting her friends in different parts of the States ; 
and during this period the manuscript was left at her brother's, 
somewhere near the residence of the Smiths. Whether Rigdon 
had, as she asserts, taken a copy of it, or whether the original 
now fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, there is no evidence 
for deciding. One thing only is clear, that by some person or 
other the manuscript was freely used as material in the composition 
of the Book of Mormon. 

Whether Sidney Rigdon was concerned in the fabrication has 
not been distinctly ascertained ; but it is a significant circumstance, 
that he afterwards became, next to Joseph Smith himself, the 
principal leader of the Mormons. How Joseph and this person 
became connected is not known, and which of the two originated 
the idea of making a new Bible out of Solomon Spaulding's novel, 
is equally uncertain. The wife, several friends, and the brother 
of Solomon Spaulding affirmed, however, the identity of the 
principal portions of the Book of Mormon with the novel of The 
Manuscript Found, which the author had from time to time, and 
in separate portions, read over to them. John Spaulding declared 
upon oath, that his brother's book was a historical romance, 
relating to the first settlers in America, endeavouring to shew that 

No. 53. 9 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the American Indians were descendants of the Jews, or of the lost 
ten tribes. He stated, that it gave a detailed account of their 
journey from Jerusalem by land and sea, till they arrived in 
America under the command of Nephi and Lehi ; and that it also 
mentioned the Lamanites. He added, that i he had recently read 
the Book of Mormon, and to his great surprise he found nearly 
the same historical matter and names as in his brother's writing's. 
To the best of his recollection and belief, it was the same that his 
brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter/ 
The widow of Solomon Spaulding", afterwards married to a Mr 
Davison, made a statement in a Boston newspaper, in all substan- 
tial respects similar, clearly and distinctly identifying the historical 
portions of the Book of Mormon with her husband's novel, and 
claiming the whole as his own composition, with the exception of 
various pious phrases and expressions which had been here and 
there interpolated. We presume that the evidence thus supplied 
must decide the question of the authorship, and that there can 
hardly remain a doubt that the Book of Mormon was founded on 
the manuscript romance of Solomon Spaulding. 

As regards the fabrication, it is not unlikely that Joseph Smith 
and Sidney Rigdon acted in concert, and, mingling the materials 
thus provided for them with odds and ends of religious matter 
derived from the Old and New Testaments, produced that singular 
amalgamation which is now regarded as the Bible of the sect. As 
a literary composition, the work is but a bungling affair; the 
religious matter ingrafted upon the original romance being full 
of ungrammatical and illiterate expressions. For instance, such 
phrases as the following very frequently occur : — ' Ye are like 
unto they ; ? 6 Do as ye hath hitherto done ; 7 1 1 saith unto them ;' 
1 These things had not ought to be ; ? c Ye saith unto him ; ? 6 1, the 
Lord, delighteth in the chastity of women ; ? ' For a more history 
part are written upon my other plates/ Anachronisms are also 
frequent, and blunders of almost every imaginable kind abound. 
But all errors of grammar, all anachronisms, all proven contradic- 
tions, are admitted by the Mormons, and treated as things utterly 
indifferent. They allege that the Old and New Testaments con- 
tain ungrammatical passages, and yet are holy, and the undoubted 
"Word of God; and that anachronisms and contradictions do not 
militate against the plenary inspiration either of the Bible or the 
Book of Mormon. They acknowledge all possible faults and 
objections which mere critics may detect ; but affirm them to be 
of no account. Joseph Smith, say they, was a chosen vessel of 
grace, and it was not necessary, in the inscrutable purposes of 
Providence, that he should accurately write the English language ; 
nor can they regard his mission as being any way invalidated by 
a few human mistakes in his rendering of inspiration. 

What the Book of Mormon was professedly framed to teach 
cannot easily be shewn, without going further into detail than is 
possible within present limits. It may, however, be mentioned, 
10 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

that the Mormonites regard it as an inspired volume, suitable to 
the exigencies of the Christian life in these latter times. They 
allege that the Book of Mormon, and a certain book of i Doctrines 
and Covenants/ containing the substance of subsequent revela- 
tions made to the prophet, on various matters relating to the 
management of the church, form and constitute the *" fulness of 
the gospel/ that while they do not supersede or take anything 
from the Old or the New Testament, they have been designed to 
complete both, a,nd are therefore to be included within the 
authentic canon of religious scriptures. Nevertheless, they seem 
to have formed ideas of God and of men's relations towards Him 
different from any which are promulgated in the Gospel. They 
acknowledge a material deity, and describe him as a being in 
human form, and as having the senses, passions, and all the par- 
ticular attributes of humanity. £ We believe/ says Orson Spencer, 
an apostle of the church, c that God is a being who hath both 
body and parts, and also passions / and this notion is prominently 
set forth in many of the publications of the sect. In some other 
respects they profess to differ from the ordinary sectarian deno- 
minations. They believe in ' the existence of the gifts, in the 
true church, spoken of in Paul's letter to the Corinthians/ in 
what they describe as the c powers and gifts of the everlasting 
Gospel / and mention in particular ' the gift of faith, discerning 
of spirits, prophecy, revelation, healing, tongues and the inter- 
pretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love/ and some 
indefinite 6 et cetera.' They believe also c in the literal gathering 
of Israel, and in the restoration of the ten tribes ; that Zion will be 
established upon the western continent ; and that Christ will reign 
personally upon the earth for a thousand years.' They recognise 
two orders of priesthood, which they call the Aaronic and the 
Melchisedek. The church is governed by a prophet, whom 
they sometimes call president; they have twelve apostles, a 
number of bishops, high-priests, deacons, elders, and teachers; 
and they assert on behalf of Joseph Smith and many other dis- 
tinguished leaders, that they had the power of working miracles 
and of casting out devils. They affirm that the end of the world 
is close at hand : and that they are the saints spoken of in the 
Apocalypse, who will be called to reign with Christ in a temporal 
kingdom on the earth. 

The manner in which Joseph Smith professed to have received 
his priestly ordination is so curious and characteristic, that it can- 
not be justly overlooked. He relates that while he and Oliver 
Cowdery, his scribe, were engaged in translating the Book of 
Mormon, and while they were 'praying and calling upon the 
Lord' to aid them in the proper execution of the work, l a mes- 
senger from heaven descended in a cloud of light/ and laying 
his hands upon them, ordained them, saying* : ' Upon you, my 
fellow-servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the priest- 
hood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels 

n 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for 
the remission of sins ; and this shall never be taken again from 
the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering- unto the 
Lord in righteousness. 7 He says, the messenger told them that 
■ this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands 
for the gift of the Holy Ghost/ but that this should be conferred 
on them thereafter. ' And/ says Joseph, i he commanded us to 
go and be baptised, and gave us directions that I should baptise 
Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptise me. 
Accordingly, we went and were baptised. I baptised him first, 
and afterwards he baptised me. After which I laid my hand 
upon his head, and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood ; after- 
wards he laid his hands on me, and ordained me to the same 
priesthood, for so we were commanded. The messenger who 
visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon 
us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John 
the Baptist in the New Testament ; and that he acted under the 
direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the 
priesthood of Melchisedek, which priesthood, he said, should in due 
time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first elder, 
and he the second. It was on the 15th day of May 1829 that 
we were baptised and ordained under the hand of the messenger.' 
Before the publication of the Book of Mormon, Joseph had 
already gathered to himself a small number of adherents. In 
1830, the year after he began to announce his visions and to speak 
of the discovery of the plates, his followers amounted to five 
persons. Among these were included his father and three brothers ; 
but in the course of a few weeks the number increased to thirty. 

t/ 

On the 1st of June, in the year just mentioned, the first con- 
ference of the sect, as an organised church, was held at Fayette, 
where the prophet at that time resided. As the people of the 
neighbourhood generally regarded him as an impostor, his pro- 
ceedings from the outset met with considerable opposition. Joseph, 
on the present occasion, had ordered the construction of a dam 
across a stream of water, for the purpose of baptising his disciples. 
But before the ceremony was commenced, a mob collected, and 
broke down the preparations, using such language towards the 
prophet as was anything but flattering to him or his followers, 
threatening him with violence, and accusing* him of robbery and 
swindling. They derided his prophetical pretensions, charged 
him with having lived the life of a reprobate, and in every way 
did their utmost to make him the object of ridicule and suspicion. 
Joseph, however, was nothing daunted. With singular tact, as 
well as courage, he bore down all detraction by confessing boldly 
that he had once led an improper and immoral life ; but, unworthy 
as he was, i the Lord had chosen him — had forgiven him all his 
sins, and intended, in his own inscrutable purposes, to make him— - 
weak and erring as he might have been — the instrument of his 
glory. Unlettered and comparatively ignorant he acknowledged 

'12 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

himself to be; but then, said he, was not St Peter illiterate? 
Were not John and the other Christian apostles men of low birth 
and mean position before they were called to the ministry 1 And 
what had been done before, might it not be done again, if God 
willed it ? ; By arguments such as these he strengthened the 
faith of those who were inclined to believe in the divinity of his 
mission, and partially foiled the logic of those that were opposed 
to him. Absurd and fanatical as his theology may seem, it is not 
to be denied that he shewed thus early an unquestionable talent 
for influencing the opinions and commanding the sympathies of 
persons in any way disposed to credulity and enthusiasm. 

He appears to have had many contests with the preachers 
and leading people of other religious sects, and to have signally 
exasperated them against him by the boldness of his self-sufficiency, 
and the boundless resources of his ingenuity and impudence, in 
asserting and defending his pretensions. Yet if he was arrogant 
and presumptuous, they were not the less dogmatic and intolerant. 
When Joseph proved himself utterly invincible by their log'ic, and 
was not to be put down by any taunts concerning his unworthi- 
ness as a man, or his incompetency as a scholar, they had recourse 
to the ordinary expedient of persecution. Their animosity rose 
so high.at last, that the prophet and his followers found the place 
too strait for them ; and, accordingly, to escape from the virulent 
opposition they had to contend with, the whole family of the 
Smiths and the most pertinacious of their adherents deemed it 
prudent to remove from Palmyra and Fayetteville, and to settle 
themselves in other quarters. The place they selected was 
Kirtland, in Ohio; but this they regarded only as a temporary 
resting-place. The attention of the sect was directed, from the 
very commencement of their organisation, to the desirableness of 
establishing* themselves in the ' Far West 7 territories, where, in a 
thinly-settled and partially-explored country, they might squat 
down or purchase lands at a cheap rate, and clear the wilderness 
for their own purposes. Shortly after their removal to Kirtland, 
Oliver Cowdery was sent out on an exploratory expedition, and, 
coming back, reported so favourably of the beauty, fertility, and 
cheapness of the land in Jackson County, in Missouri, that Joseph 
Smith himself determined to go and visit the location. 

Leaving his family and principal connections in Kirtland, he 
proceeded with Sidney Kigdon and some others upon a long* and 
arduous journey, his object being to h'x upon a site for the \ New 
Jerusalem ? — the future city and metropolis of the divine kingdom, 
where Christ was to reign over the saints as a temporal king, in 
i power and great glory. 7 They started, apparently, about the 
middle of June 1831, travelling' by wagons or canal-boats, and 
sometimes on foot, as far as Cincinnati. From this place they 
proceeded by steamer to Louisville and St Louis, where at length 
all the civilised means of transport failed them. The rest of the 
journey, a distance of 300 miles, had to be performed on foot* 

13 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

With brave hearts and hopeful faces, however, they toiled along 
through the wilderness, and finally reached the town of Inde- 
pendence, in Jackson County, in the middle of July. Though 
footsore and weary, they were not sad ; for the country, with its 
grandeurs and conveniences, surpassed their most sanguine expec- 
tations. It is pleasant to see how the prophet was enraptured at 
the sight of it, and how, in his description, there is even a touch 
of poetry. Looking intently on the landscape, he notes, i as far 
as the eye can glance, the beautiful rolling prairies lay spread 
around like a sea of meadows. 7 It is a fruitful and smiling land — 
a land overflowing with corn and fruits, and cotton and honey, 
and bountifully, though not too thickly, overspread with timber ; 
the buffalo, the elk, and the deer, with a sprinkling of less attrac- 
tive animals, roam over it at pleasure ; and there are turkeys and 
geese, and swans and ducks, and every variety of the feathered 
race ; and altogether it is an abundant and delightful region, and 
seems meet for the heritage of the elect of the Most High. Here, 
then, decides the prophet, shall be built the future Zion ; and 
hither shall the Saints be gathered, that they may inherit and 
enjoy the land in all its plenty. 

That there might be no doubt among his followers that this was 
assuredly the spot marked out by a considerate Providence as their 
place of settlement, Joseph Smith contrived to obtain a direct 
revelation on the subject. Indeed, whenever he had any diffi- 
culty, or was about to do anything that might startle or surprise 
the Saints, his course was invariably smoothed before him by a 
timely revelation. He had only to announce : i Thus saith the 
Lord your God/ and add whatsoever he deemed convenient, and 
the matter in hand was authoritatively settled. On the present 
occasion, it was revealed to him that a certain district in Jackson 
County was c the land of promise, and the place for the city of 
Zion. 7 ' Behold/ says the document which he issued as a celestial 
communication, c behold, the place which is now called Inde- 
pendence is the centre place, and a spot for the temple is lying 
westward, upon a lot which is not far from the court-house; 
wherefore it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the 
Saints ; and also every tract lying* westward, even unto the line 
running directly between Jew and Gentile. And also every tract 
bordering* by the prairies, inasmuch as my disciples are enabled to 
buy lands. 7 The blending of scriptural phrase with business-like 
minuteness in this document is somewhat curious. It goes on to 
say : ' Let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, stand in the office which I 
have appointed him, to receive moneys, to be an agent unto the 
church, to buy lands in all the regions round about. 7 Another 
servant, Edward Partridge, is oracularly commanded c to divide 
the Saints their inheritance. 7 And again, it runs : i Verily, I say 
unto you, let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, plant himself in this 
place, and establish a store, that he may sell goods without fraud ; 
that he may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the Saints. 7 

14 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

Sidney Gilbert is also enjoined to 6 obtain a licence that he may 
send goods unto the people/ so as to provide for the preaching 1 of 
the gospel c unto those who sit in darkness. 7 William Phelps is 
to be established c as a printer unto the church ; 7 ' and, lo ! ' says the 
revelation, i if the world receiveth his writings, let him obtain 
whatsoever he can obtain in righteousness, for the good of the 

Saints. And let my servant, Oliver Cowdery, assist him to 

copy, and to correct, and select, that all things may be right before 
me, as it shall be proved by the spirit through him. 7 And con- 
cerning the gathering, it is said : 6 Let the bishop and the agent 
make preparations for those families which have been commanded 
to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their 
inheritance. 7 

On the first Sunday after his arrival, Joseph preached in the 
wilderness to a miscellaneous crowd of Indians, squatters, and a 
'respectable company of negroes.' He made a few converts, and 
soon had another revelation, to the eifect chiefly, that Martin 
Harris should i be an example to the church in laying his moneys 
before the bishops of the church ; 7 the said moneys being required 
to purchase land for a storehouse, ■ and also for the house of the 
printing. 7 On the 3d of August, after a sojourn of about three 
weeks, the spot for the temple was solemnly laid out and dedi- 
cated; and Joseph, some days afterwards, having completed all 
his arrangements, established a bishop, and acquired, as he con- 
ceived, a firm footing for his sect in Jackson County, prepared to 
return into Ohio, to look after his affairs at Kirtland. On the 
homeward journey, nothing of consequence occurred, except that 
once i Brother Phelps, in open vision, by daylight, saw the 
Destroyer (otherwise called the Devil) ride upon the waters 7 of 
a river near which the party was encamped. c Others, 7 says 
Joseph, i heard the noise, but saw not the vision. 7 The devil, 
however, was quite harmless ; and after a journey of twenty-four 
days, the pilgrims all arrived at Kirtland. 

It is a peculiarity of our prophet, that he always had the keenest 
eye to business. On his return to Kirtland, by the aid of others, 
members of the church, he established a mill, a store, and a bank. 
Of the latter, he appointed himself president, and intrusted Sidney 
Rigdon with the office of cashier. It was the object of himself 
and of the sect to stay in Kirtland and make money for the next 
^Ye years ; until, in short, the wilderness should be cleared, and 
the temple built in Zion. 

Meanwhile, Joseph lost no opportunity of propagating his reli- 
gion, and of planting branches of his church wherever he could 
find a soil adapted to his doctrines. He travelled about preaching 
in various parts of the United States, making converts with great 
rapidity. He had two great elements of persuasion in his favour — 
sufficient novelty, and unconquerable perseverance. His doctrine 
was both old and new. It had something of the old that was 
calculated to attract such as would have been repelled bv a creed 

15 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

altogether new, and it had sufficient novelty to strike the attention 
and inflame the imagination of many whose minds would have 
heen totally uninfluenced by current and established dogmas, 
however powerfully preached. Basing his faith upon isolated 
passages of the Bible ; claiming direct inspiration from Heaven ; 
promising possession of the earth, and limiting eternal blessings, 
to all true believers ; and, moreover, announcing his mission with 
a courage and audacity that despised difficulty and danger ; it is 
not surprising that ignorant and credulous people should every- 
where have listened to him, and reverently credited his extravagant 
pretensions. Nevertheless, his success as a propagandist was not 
without some drawbacks. Never, perhaps, until this enlightened 
nineteenth century, was it the lot of a prophet to be tarred and 
feathered ! Such, however, was the ridiculous martyrdom which 
Mohammed Smith was called upon to suffer at the hands of law- 
less men. One night, in the month of March 1832, i a mob 
of Methodists, Baptists, Campbellites/ and other miscellaneous 
zealots, broke into his peaceable dwelling-house, and dragging 
him from the wife of his bosom, stripped him naked, and in the 
way just indicated, most despitefully maltreated him. Under the 
bleak midnight sky, they carried him into a meadow a little dis- 
tance from the house, and there, with curses and wild uproar, 
anointed his sacred person with that dark impurity which 
Falstaff mentions as having a tendency to defile ; and then rolling 
him well in feathers, set him at liberty — a spectacle not inappro- 
priate for a scarecrow ! Sidney Rigdon was similarly handled, and 
rendered temporarily crazy by the treatment. As to the prophet, 
it took the whole night for his friends to cleanse his polluted skin. 
Yet, the next day being the Sabbath, with his i flesh all scarified 
and defaced/ he preached to the congregation as usual, and in 
the afternoon of the same day baptised three individuals. Thus, 
under the absurdest persecution, the church prospers and increases, 
and Prophet Joseph loses nothing* of his natural audacity, nor 
abates one whit in his confident self-assertion. 

However, calling to mind the scriptural injunction : c If they 
persecute you in one city, flee into another,' Joseph seems to have 
thought that it would not be amiss to absent himself a little from 
the scene of so bathotic a disaster. Accordingly, he started on the 
2d of April, with a small company of adherents, for the settlement 
in Missouri, designing, as he said, to fulfil the revelation. Some 
of his inhuman persecutors dogged his steps as far as Louisville, 
taunting and harassing him by the way ; but getting' protection 
from the captain of a steam-boat, he arrived in safety at Inde- 
pendence on the 26th. Here he found the Saints going ahead with 
great rapidity. In obedience to a revelation which he had sent 
them, a printing-press had been established, and the work of prose- 
lytising was advancing famously. A monthly periodical, called 
the Morning and Evening Star, was conducted by Mr Phelps, the 
printer to the church ; and a weekly newspaper, devoted exclusively 

16 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

to the interests of Mormonism, had been started under the title 
of the Upper Missouri Advertiser. The number of the disciples 
amounted to nearly 3000; while in Kirtland, including" women 
and children, they had not yet exceeded 150. The new Zion was 
clearly thriving*, and would soon be ready for the gathering" of the 
brethren from other quarters. Being* enthusiastically received by 
the congregation, and solemnly acknowledged as their \ prophet, 
seer, and president of the high-priesthood of the church/ Joseph, 
after a brief and pleasant sojourn, left the place in perfect con- 
fidence that all was going on prosperously. 

Perhaps he ought to have remembered, that often when things 
are most prosperous in appearance, there is apt to be some latent 
mischief or misfortune in process of development. And, to speak 
truly, the manner in which the Saints behaved themselves in 
Zion, was anything but calculated to make friends among the 
Gentiles. They assumed an offensive superiority over their 
neighbours, and spoke rather too boldly of their determination 
to take possession of the whole state of Missouri, and to permit no 
one to live in it who did not conform themselves to the Mormon 
creed and discipline. Strange rumours also began to spread con- 
cerning their peculiarities of intercourse and ways of living. They 
were accused of communism, and not simply of a community of 
goods and chattels, but also of a community of wives. This 
charge appears to have been utterly unfounded, but it was not 
the less effective in arousing the indignation of the people of 
Independence and Missouri against the Mormons. A party was 
secretly formed, whose object was to expel them from the state. 
The printing-office of the Star was razed to the ground, and the 
types and presses confiscated. A Mormon bishop was tarred and 
feathered, and Editor Phelps had a narrow escape from a touch of 
the like treatment. Outrages of almost every description were 
committed by armed mobs upon the Mormons, till at length they 
saw no chance or likelihood of ever being" left at peace ; and the 
final result was, that — having no other resource — the leaders 
agreed that, if time were given, the people should remove westward 
to some other situation. 

Under circumstances of such peril and humiliation, the Saints, 
not unadvisedly, despatched Oliver Gowdery to Kirtland with a 
message to the prophet. Joseph Smith, as became his situation, 
proved himself not unfertile in resources. He decided that the 
Morning and Evening Star should be thenceforth published in 
Kirtland, and that another newspaper should be started to supply 
the place of the one lately printed in Missouri. He also resolved 
to apply to the governor of that state, and to demand justice for 
the outrages inflicted upon the sect. Anything that could be 
done to aid the brethren from a distance he was prompt and ready 
to undertake; but, under the circumstances, he did not deem it 
circumspect to venture personally into Zion. He sent his followers 
a prophet's blessing and a word of comfort ; and then, in company 

17 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

with Sidney Rigdon and another, made a journey into Canada, 
with the design of gaining* converts. 

Meanwhile, in reply to a petition which had been sent him by 
the Mormons, the governor of Missouri responded by a sensible 
and conciliatory letter. He alluded to the attack upon them as 
being illegal and unjustifiable, and recommended them to remain 
where they were, and to apply for redress to the ordinary tribunals 
of the country. Acting on the strength of this advice, the Mor- 
mons commenced actions against the ringleaders of the mob, 
engaging, by a fee of 1000 dollars, the best legal assistance to 
support their case. But on the 30th of October, the mob again 
rose in arms to expel them. Several houses of the Saints were 
sacked and partially demolished. The Mormons, in some instances, 
defended their possessions, and a regular battle ensued between 
them and their opponents. In this encounter, it happened that 
two of the latter were killed ; and thenceforth the fray became so 
furious and alarming, that the militia was obliged to be called out 
to suppress it. The militia, however, being anti-Mormon to a 
man, took sides entirely against them, and the hapless Saints had 
no alternative except in flight. The women took alarm, and fled 
with their children across the Missouri river, where, being after- 
wards joined by their husbands, they all encamped in the open 
wilderness. They ultimately took refuge for the most part in 
Clay County, where they appear to have been received with some 
degree of kindness. 

The public authorities of Missouri, and indeed all the principal 
people, except those of Jackson County, were exceedingly scan- 
dalised at these proceedings, and sympathised with the efforts of 
the Mormon leaders to obtain redress. The attorney- general of 
the state wrote to say, that if the Mormons desired to be re-estab- 
lished in their possessions, an adequate public force should be sent 
for their protection. He also advised them to remain in the state, 
and organise themselves into a regular company of militia, pro- 
mising to supply them with arms at the public expense. About 
the same time a message arrived from the prophet, who had now 
returned to Kirtland, urging them to abide by their possessions, 
and not in any case to sell any land to which they had a legal 
title, but hold on i until the Lord in his wisdom should open a 
way for their return. 7 Nevertheless, for present emergencies, he 
recommended them to purchase a tract of land in Clay County, 
and to tarry there awhile, abiding their time. He likewise com- 
municated to them a revelation, by which they were commanded 
to importune the courts of justice to reinstate them in their 
possessions, and promised that, in case of failure, e the Lord God 
himself would arise and come out of his hiding-place, and in his 
fury vex the nation.* 

The Mormons, however, were never more restored to their 
beloved Zion. They remained for upwards of four years in Clay 
County. The land on which they settled was mostly uncleared, 

18 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

but being an industrious and persevering* people, they laid out 
farms, erected mills and stores, and carried on their business as 
successfully as in their previous location. But here also the 
suspicions and ill-feeling* of the people were soon aroused against 
them, and were eventually the cause of their expulsion from the 
whole state of Missouri. The bearing* of the Mormons towards 
the slavery question, the calumny about their community of 
wives, their loud pretensions of superior holiness, their repeated 
declarations that Missouri had been assigned to their possession 
by divine command, and the quarrels that were constantly 
resulting", brought about the same kind of misunderstandings and 
collisions which they had experienced in Jackson County. 

At this juncture — namely, on the 5th of May 1834 — Joseph 
Smith, the prophet, resolved to visit his persecuted church, and 
try what he could do to put the affairs of his scattered and 
dispirited disciples into order. He brought with him an organised 
company of 100 persons, mostly young* men, and nearly all priests, 
deacons, teachers, and officers of the church. Twenty of them 
formed the body-guard of the prophet, his brother, Hyrum Smith, 
being* captain, and another brother, George Smith, his armour- 
bearer. On the way, he was intercepted by the people of Jackson 
County, one of the leaders of whom, named Campbell, swore * that 
the eagles and turkey-buzzards should eat his flesh, if he did not, 
before two days, fix Joe Smith and his army so that their skins 
should not hold shucks.' Joseph, who relates the story, says, 
however, that Campbell and his men 'went to the ferry, and 
undertook to cross the Missouri river after dusk; but the angel 
of God saw fit to sink the boat about the middle of the 
river, and seven out of the twelve that attempted to cross were 
drowned. Thus suddenly and justly/ he adds, 'they went to 
their own place by water. Campbell was among the missing. 
He floated down the river some four or five miles, and lodged 
upon a pile of drift-wood, where the eagles, buzzards, ravens, 
crows, and wild animals, ate his flesh from his bones, to fulfil his 
own words, and left him a horrible-looking skeleton of God's 
vengeance, which was discovered about three weeks afterwards 
by one Mr Purtle.' But, though sustaining no material damage 
from the vindictive Mr Campbell, Joseph lost thirteen of his band 
by the ravages of cholera. Marching onwards, however, he arrived 
in Clay County on the 2d of July ; and in the course of his brief 
stay of seven days, succeeded in establishing the Saints in their 
new settlement, on a better footing than he found them occupying 
on his arrival. 

The history of the sect for the next three years is one of strife 
and contention with their enemies in Missouri. The numbers of 
the Mormons increased with the numbers of their opponents ; and 
the warfare raged so bitterly, that the whole people of the state 
were ranged either on one side or the other. At length, in the 
autumn of 1837, Joseph's bank at Kirtland suddenly stopped 

19 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

payment ; the district was flooded with his paper, and proceedings 
were taken against him and the other managers for swindling. 
At this untoward juncture, the prophet received a convenient 
revelation, commanding* him to depart finally for Missouri, 
and live among the Saints in the land of their inheritance. A 
scandal runs, that he ohejed. the call hy departing secretly in the 
night; or, in Yankee phraseology, he went off ' between two 
days/ leaving his creditors to such remedy as might be open to 
them. On arriving in Missouri, he found the affairs of his church 
in considerable confusion. The Saints had become a numerous 
and powerful body; but they did not agree among themselves, 
and occasional seceders spread abroad all sorts of rumours and 
strange stories in condemnation of their polity. A great schism 
broke out in 1838, when Joseph Smith took occasion to denounce 
some of his oldest and most intimate confederates. Among these 
were Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Sidney Rigdon, and 
several other distinguished apostles and disciples. Sidney Rigdon 
was afterwards received back into favour and forgiven, inasmuch 
as he was too important a personage to be converted into an 
enemy. During the progress of these internal squabbles, the 
Gentiles of Jackson and Clay counties persisted in their perse- 
cutions, making constantly repeated efforts to expel the Mormons 
altogether from Missouri. 

This object was finally effected in the latter part of the year 
1838 ; and the Mormons, to the number of 15,000, took refuge in 
Illinois. They purchased lands in the vicinity of the town of 
Commerce, and shortly afterwards changed the name of the place 
into Nauvoo, or the City of Beauty. The country was rich in 
agricultural resources, and the Mormons failed not to turn them 
to account. c Soon, 7 says Lieutenant Gunnison, ' the colonists 
changed the desert to an abode of plenty and richness : gardens 
sprung up as by magic, decorated with the most beautiful flowers 
of the old and new world, whose seeds were brought as mementoes 
from former homes by the converts that flocked to the new state 
of Zion ; broad streets were scon fenced, houses erected, and the 
busy hum of industry heard in the marts of commerce; the 
steam-boat unladed its stores and passengers, and departed for a 
fresh supply of merchandise; fields waved with the golden harvests, 
and cattle dotted the rolling hills. 7 A site for the temple was 
chosen on the brow of a hill overlooking* the town, and the building 
was commenced according to a plan or pattern which the prophet 
professed to have received by revelation. Flourishing centres of 
dense settlements sprung* up in the neighbourhood of the city, and 
the accessions and exertions of emigrants enlarged the borders of 
the faithful. In the course of eighteen months, the people had 
erected about 2000 houses, besides schools and a variety of 
public buildings. The place became a populous and imposing- 
looking town. Joseph Smith was appointed mayor, and for 
awhile enjoyed an undisturbed supremacy. His word was law ; 

20 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

he was the temporal and spiritual head of the community ; and, 
besides his titles of prophet, president, and mayor, he held the 
military title- of general, in right of his command over a body of 
militia, which he organised under the name of the Nauvoo Legion. 

Somewhere about the time at which we have now arrived, the 
sect began to be heard of in England. Missionaries from America 
appeared in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, 
and in several towns and places in South Wales. Their preaching 
was attended with very considerable success, and in three or four 
years the sect numbered in this country upwards of 10,000 converts. 
A copy of the Book of Mormon was forwarded, at the prophet's 
desire,' to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert — a circumstance 
whereat the Saints in Nauvoo were much delighted, though what 
reception the volume met with has not been publicly ascertained. 
The English converts were generally urged to emigTate ; and great 
numbers of them for some years past have been flocking to the 
various Mormon settlements. Numbers in these years arrived 
and settled at Nauvoo. But it was not to these alone that the 
increase of the population was confined. As Lieutenant Gunnison 
has related : c Horse-thieves and housebreakers, robbers and vil- 
lains, gathered there to cloak their deeds in mystery, who, caring 
nothing for religion, could take the appearance of baptism, and 
be among, but not of them. Speculators came in and bought lots, 
with the hope of great remuneration as the colony increased. The 
latter class, unwilling to pay tithes, soon fell into disrepute ; and 
when proper time had elapsed for conversion without effect, 
measures were taken to oust them.' The manner of effecting this 
was characteristic and somewhat singular. ' A proper sum would 
be offered for their improvements and lands, and, if not accepted, 
then petty annoyances were resorted to. One of these was called 
" whittling off." Three men would be deputed and paid for their 
time, to take their jack-knives and sticks — downeast Yankees, of 
course — and, sitting down before tbe obnoxious man's door, begin 
their whittling*. When the man came out, they would stare at 
him, but say nothing. If he went to the market, they followed 
and whittled. Whatever taunts, curses, or other provoking epi- 
thets were applied to them, no notice would be taken, no word 
spoken in return, no laugh on their faces. The jeers and shouts 
of street urchins made the welkin ring, but deep silence pervaded 
the whittlers. Their leerish look followed him everywhere, from 
" morning dawn to dusky eve." When he was in-doors, they sat 
patiently down, and assiduously performed their jack-knife duty. 
Three davs are said to have been the utmost that human nature 
could endure of this silent annoyance. The man came to terms, 
sold his possessions for what he could get, or emigrated to parts 
unknown.' 

Notwithstanding these discreditable accessions, the Mormons 
proper continued to increase in numbers. While settled at Nauvoo, 
they boasted of having 100,000 persons professing their faith in 

21 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the United States. They began to be a distinct and imposing 
power in the country, and in various places influenced the elections. 
On all political questions they were perfectly united. So bold did 
they become, that in 1844 they put Joseph Smith in nomination 
for the presidency. This was considered an absurd movement ; 
but the Mormons, nevertheless, assert that had he lived for the 
next trial after, he would have been elected. No opportunity, how- 
ever, was afforded him to test the truth of the prediction. A dark 
day for the Mormons was approaching*. The people amidst whom 
they lived complained that their property was constantly disappear- 
ing", and that traces of it were often found in the city of Nauvoo. 
The redress proposed to be given them by the Mormon courts was 
declared to be unavailing, as the causes tried there always went 
against them. No Mormon could by any chance be brought to 
justice, they said. The leaders of the sect were likewise charged 
with political aspirations. It was said that they aimed to rule the 
state, and, under the pretence of a spiritual direction, set the laws 
at defiance. But, more than all, intestine quarrels conspired to 
bring about a distressing crisis in their affairs. Many influential 
and talented persons, finding themselves deceived, both in the 
sanctity of the prophet and in advancing their temporal fortunes, 
deserted his standard, and denounced him for licentiousness, 
drunkenness, and tyranny. Women impeached him of attempted 
seduction ; which his apology, that it was merely to see if they 
were virtuous, could not satisfy. Criminations brought back 
recriminations against certain men.* ' A newspaper under the 
prophet's control lashed the dissenters with great bitterness ; and, 
on the other hand, the dissenters set up a counter-organ, wherein 
they detailed the most offensive charges of debauchery against the 
prophet and his principal supporters. A city-council was then 
convened, and measures were immediately taken to silence the 
defamers. A mob of the * faithful ? destroyed their printing-press, 
scattering the types in the streets, and burning an edition of their 
paper. After finishing this work of demolition, they repaired to 
head-quarters, and were complimented by the prophet and his 
brother Hyrum, and received from them the promise of some 
appropriate reward. This, however, they never got, for a grand 
and fatal outrage was presently transacted, which brought both 
the power and the life of the prophet suddenly to an end. 

It being impossible to bring the Mormon mob to justice through 
the Nauvoo courts, the officer who undertook to deal with them 
procured a county writ, and attempted to enforce it in the manner 
resorted to against ordinary offenders. But this attempt was 
opposed and prevented by the people and troops in Nauvoo ; and 
when at length the militia were called out, Joseph Smith, as mayor 
and commanding-general of the legion, declared the city under 
martial law. Thereupon an appeal was made to the governor of 

* See Gunnison. 
22 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the state, wlio forthwith ordered out three companies of the state 
militia, to bring the prophet and his adherents to submission, and 
to enforce their obedience to the laws. An officer was despatched 
to arrest Joseph and his brother Hyrum ; but to avoid the indignity, 
they crossed over the Mississippi into Iowa, and there stayed to 
watch events, keeping" up by a boat a correspondence with the 
Mormon council. Finding- at length that their own people were 
incensed at their desertion, the council advised the Smiths to sur- 
render to the governor, and to stand their trial for such a violation 
of the law as they could be charged with. They, accordingly, 
repaired to Carthage, the seat of government, and were there 
indicted for treason, and, in company with two of their apostles, 
were lodged in the county jail. 

It is related that the prophet had a presentiment of evil in this 
affair, and said, as he surrendered : e I am going like a lamb to the 
slaughter, but I am calm as a summer morning ; I have a conscience 
void of offence, and shall die innocent.' As the mob still breathed 
vengeance against the prisoners, and as the militia sided with the 
people, and were not to be depended on in the way of preventing 
violence, the governor was requested by the citizens of Nauvoo 
and other Mormons to set a guard over the jail. But the governor, 
seeing things apparently quiet, discharged the troops, and simply 
promised justice to all parties. It now began to be rumoured that 
there would be no case forthcoming against the Smiths, and that 
the governor was anxious they should escape. Influenced by this 
belief, a band of about 200 ruffians conspired to attack the jail, and 
take justice into their own hands. * If law could not reach them/ 
they said, ' powder and shot should. 7 On the 27th of June 1844, 
they assaulted the door of the room in which the prisoners were 
incarcerated, and having broken in, fired upon the four all at once. 
Hyrum Smith was instantly killed. Joseph, with a revolver, 
returned two shots, hitting one man in the elbow. He then threw 
up the window, and attempted to leap out, but was killed in the 
act by the balls of the assailants outside. Both were again shot 
after they were dead, each receiving no less than four balls. One 
of the two Mormons who were with them was seriously wounded, 
but afterwards recovered ; and the other is said to have escaped 
c without a hole in his robe.' 

Here, then, ends the life and prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. 
Henceforth the Mormons are left to be guided by another leader. 
Of himself it has been said : i He founded a dynasty which his 
death rendered more secure, and sent forth principles that take 
fast hold on thousands in all lands ; and the name of Great Martyr 
of the nineteenth century, is a tower of strength to his followers. 
He lived fourteen years and three months after founding a society 
with six members, and could boast of having 150,000 ready to 
do his bidding when he died ; all of whom regarded his voice as 
from Heaven. Among his disciples he bears a character for talent, 
uprightness, and purity, far surpassing all other men with whom 

23 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

they ever were acquainted, or whose biography they have read/ 
Nevertheless, it is added : ' But few of these admirers were cogni- 
zant of other than his prophetic career, and treat with scornful 
disdain all that is said in disparagement of his earlier life. With 
those who knew him in his youth, and have given us solemn 
testimony, he is declared an indolent vagabond, an infamous liar of 
consummate impudence. He is regarded by the " Gentiles," who 
saw him in the last few years of successful power, to have been a 
man of unbridled lust, and engaged with the counterfeiting and 
robbing bands of the Great Valley ; but these charges have never 
been substantiated.' The man had faults enough, no doubt ; but 
it would be the grossest injustice to deny that he had also some 
sterling and commanding* qualities. Much of the impostor as one 
may detect in the beginnings of his career, any one who carefully 
observes his progress, may perceive that his character and designs 
became developed into something that was at least partially com- 
mendable. A rude, uncouth genius, who, like many another 
genius, for a long while apprehended not his mission ; knew not 
the things which Nature had appointed him to do ; and yet, with 
a blind unconscious instinct — manifested through many follies and 
insincerities — he struggled, and could not help but struggle, to 
make felt the influence and administrative power which he was 
born to exercise among mankind. We may call him a sort of 
mongrel-hero, and non-commissioned leader of the unguided ; a 
charlatan-fanatic, whose work was half knavery and half earnest, 
and whom, probably, Nature had ordained to do the rough pio- 
neering of civilisation in the waste places of her kingdoms. That 
he had available powers for leading* and for ruling* men, there is 
proof in the multitude and successful consolidation of his adherents. 
Saint or sinner, Joseph Smith must be reckoned a remarkable man 
in his generation ; one who began and accomplished a greater 
work than he was aware of ; and whose name, whatever he may 
have been whilst living, will take its place among* the notabilities 
of the world. 

After his death, the Mormons were somewhat agitated by the 
question of the succession to his seership. Sidney Rigdon and 
others came forward with claims and pretensions to the office ; but 
finally the council of the twelve unanimously elected Brigham 
Young*. c This man/ says Lieutenant Gunnison, ' with a mien of 
the most retiring modesty and diffidence in ordinary intercourse in 
society, holds a spirit of ardent feeling and great shrewdness ; and 
when roused in debate, or upon the preacher's stand, exhibits a 
boldness of speech and grasp of thought that awes and enchains 
with intense interest — controlling, soothing, or exasperating at 
pleasure the multitudes that listen to his eloquence/ 

One of the first things which the new president had to do, was 
to conduct the removal of the Mormons from Nauvoo, and to 
establish them in a settlement where they should no longer be 
molested. Almost as soon as he was elected, arrangements began 

24 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

to be made for abandoning* the city ; and in the spring* of 1845, 
several parties set out on a dreary journey still further to the west. 
Numbers, however, remained behind to complete and consecrate 
the temple — a work which they ultimately effected amid g-eneral 
rejoicings. But no sooner was this labour of piety accomplished, 
than they were compelled to leave the honoured edifice, and the 
city in which it stood, to be \ profaned and trodden down by the 
Gentiles. 7 The hostility of their neighbours never once abated 
until they had driven them utterly out of the state ; and on the 
part of the Mormons it was finally resolved to seek out and colonise 
some new and remote territory. 

With this object, men were sent to the mountains, to the heads 
of the Missouri branches, and to California, to spy out the land ; 
and the Calebs and Joshuas of the expedition brought such a 
report of the Great Salt Lake Valley, that it was immediately 
chosen for what the Saints were pleased to call 'an everlasting 
abode. 7 In the spring of 1847, a pioneer-party of 143 men pro- 
ceeded to open the way ; and the rest of the people, in parties of 
tens, fifties, and hundreds, followed. The strictest discipline of 
guard and march was observed by the way. After many perils, 
and hardships almost indescribable, they at last reached their desti- 
nation. Great joy to the weary wanderers was the first sight of the 
goodly valley, as they beheld it before them from the final moun- 
tain summit. c As each team rose upon the narrow table, the 
delighted pilgrims saw the white salt beach of the Great Lake 
glistening in the never-clouded sunbeam of summer — and the 
view down the open gorge of the mountains, divided by a single 
conical peak, into the long-toiled-for vale of repose, was most 
ravishing to the beholder. Few such ecstatic moments are vouch- 
safed to mortals in the pilgrimage of life, when the dreary past is 
all forgotten, and the soul revels in unalloyed enjoyment, antici- 
pating the fruition of hope.' A few moments were allotted to each 
party to gaze and admire, and then with measured pace they 
journeyed forward, and after some sixteen miles further travelling*, 
emerged into the valley which was to be thenceforward their 
unmolested home. 

The journey ended, work was instantly commenced. The 
industry of the Mormons has, ever since they became a sect, been 
pre-eminently exemplary. In five days a field was consecrated, 
fenced, ploughed, and planted! Tents and cabins were rapidly 
erected for the temporary service of the emigrants ; but very 
shortly a city was laid out, and a fort, enclosing about forty acres, 
built for its protection. Everywhere the most cheerful and pros- 
perous activity went on. As yet, however, the hardships of the 
Mormons were not ended. During the first year, every month 
was so mild that they constantly ploughed and sowed; but though 
the winter was thus auspicious, and all things promising, they 
were so reduced in provisions as to be obliged to eat the hides of 
the slaughtered animals, and even eagerly searched for them out 

25 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

of the ditches, and tore them from the roofs of the houses, to boil 
them for that purpose. They also dug* up the wild roots used for 
food by the Indians. But, we are informed, the most formidable 
enemy they had to contend with, as the crops were nearing* matu- 
rity, was an army of black ungainly crickets, which, descending* 
from the mountain-sides, destroyed every bit of herbage in their 
way. No wonder the Mormon farmers considered it a miracle, 
when, in despair from the ravages of these - black Philistines/ they 
at leng*th were visited by large flights of beautiful white gulls, 
which in a short time exterminated the enemy. The next season 
they came earlier, and thereby saved the wheat from any harm 
whatever ; and since then they have regularly appeared, and move 
hither and thither about the settlement, as tame as household 
pigeons. Since the first year, the crops of the Mormons have 
amply met their wants; and for the last three years there has 
been a surplus of food among them, which was sold to the gold 
emigrants at a less price than provisions were selling 400 miles 
nearer the States, and of course that distance further from the 
California diggings. 

The social condition of this remarkable people in their present 
settlement is thus described by Lieutenant Gunnison, who lived 
among them for more than a year, in an official capacity connected 
with a recent exploring expedition to the Deseret or Utah terri- 
tory, under direction of the United States government. He says : 
c Their admirable system of combining labour, while each has his 
own property, in land and tenements, and the proceeds of his 
industry, the skill in dividing off lands, and conducting the irri- 
gating canals to supply the want of water, which rarely falls 
between April and October ; the cheerful manner in which every 
one applies himself industriously, but not laboriously ; the complete 
reign of good neighbourhood and quiet in house and fields, form 
themes for admiration to the stranger coming from the dark and 
sterile recesses of the mountain-gorges into this flourishing valley : 
and he is struck with wonder at the immense results produced in 
so short a time by a handful of individuals. This is the result of 
the guidance of all those hands by one master-mind ;* and we see 
a comfortable people residing where, it is not too much to say, the 
ordinary mode of subduing and settling our wild lands could never 
have been applied. To accomplish this, there was required 
religious fervour, with the flame fanned by the breezes of enthu- 
siasm, the encircling of bands into the closest union, by the out- 
ward pressure of persecution ; the high hopes of laying up a 
prospective reward, and returning to their deserted homes in great 
prosperity; the belief of re-enacting the journey of the Israelitish 
Church under another Moses, through the Egypt already passed, 
to arrive at another Jerusalem, more heavenly in its origin, and 
beautiful in its proportions and decorations. Single families on 

* Brigham Young. 

26 



HISTORT OF THE MORMONS. 

that line of travel would have starved, or fallen by the treachery 
of the Sioux, the cunning of the Crows and Shoshones, or the 
hatred of the savage U talis. Concert and courage of the best 
kind were required and brought into the field, and the result is 
before us — to their own minds, as the direct blessing and interpo- 
sition of Providence ; to others, the natural reward of associated 

industry and perseverance Their comparative comfort and 

degree of prosperity is significantly shewn by the fact, that they 
canvassed the country, to ascertain how many inmates there would 
be for a poor-house, and finding only two disposed to ask public 
bounty, they concluded that it was not yet time to build a house 
of charity ; and this among the thousands who, three years before, 
were deprived of their property, and could with the utmost 
difficulty transport their families into the valley ! 9 

Among no people is the dignity of labour held more sacred than 
by the Mormons. The excellency and honourableness of work 
is exemplified in their whole polity and organisation. C A lazy 
person/ we are told, c is either accursed, or likely to be ; usefulness 
is their motto ; and those who will not keep themselves, or try 

their best, are left to starve into industry The labour 

for support of one's self and family is taught to be of as divine a 
character as public worship and prayer. In practice, their views 
unite them so as to procure all the benefits of social Christianity 
without running into communism. The priest and the bishop 
make it their boast that, like Paul the tent-maker, they earn their 
bread by the sweat of their brow ; and teach by example on the 
week-day what they preach on the Sabbath.' 

The territory of Utah is extensive, but it is calculated that 
hardly one acre in ten is fit for profitable cultivation. Immense 
tracts of pasturage around the cultivable spots are held in common, 
and are not intended to be given up to the possession of individuals. 
It is worthy of being mentioned, that when the Mormons arrived 
in the valley, they did not quarrel about the fertile, eligible plots, 
but put a portion under cultivation jointly, and made equitable 
apportionment of the proceeds of the crop, according to the skill, 
labour, and seed contributed. The city was laid off into lots, 
which, by mutual consent, were assigned by the presidency, on a 
plan of equitable and judicious distribution. It is true, after the 
assignments were made, some persons commenced the usual 
speculations of selling according to eligibility of situation; but 
this called forth anathemas from the spiritual power, and no one 
was permitted to traffic for the sake of profit. If any sales were 
to be made, the first cost and actual value of improvements were 
all that was to be allowed. c The land belongs to the Lord/ it 
was said, c and his Saints are to use so much as each can work 
profitably.' 

The Great Salt Lake city, which is laid out in squares, is 
described as a place of great attractions. The streets are 132 feet 
wide, with 20 feet side-walks ; and a creek which runs through. 

27 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the city, is so divided as to run along* each walk and water a 
colonnade of trees, and is made likewise to communicate with the 
gardens. The lots contain nearly an acre each, and face on alter- 
nate streets, with eight lots in every block. The site of the city 
is slightly sloping, with the exception of a part to the north, 
where it rises into a sort of natural terrace. It is four miles 
square, and is watered by several small streams, and a canal 
twelve miles long, besides being- bounded on the western side by 
the Jordan river. Besides this central city, there are four other 
colonies which have branched off from it; and towns, with 
thickly-populated and rapidly-growing suburbs, extend along a 
line of 200 miles of country. Various public edifices have been 
built, or are now in progress of erection. In one place, a large 
and commodious state-house was completed in 1850 ; and there is 
a wooden railway laid down to certain quarries some miles dis- 
tant, for the purpose of transporting the fine red sandstone to a 
situation called the Temple Block, ' where a gorgeous pile is to be 
erected, which shall surpass in magnificence any yet built by 
man, and which shall be second only to that finally to be con- 
structed by themselves, when the presidency shall be installed at 
the New Jerusalem, on the temple-site of Zion. ? 

The system of government under which the Mormons live is 
described by themselves as a i Theo-democracy J They are organised 
into a state, with all the order of legislative, judicial, and executive 
offices, regularly filled, under a constitution said to be eminently 
republican in sentiment, and tolerant in religion. The president 
of the church is the temporal civil governor, and rules in virtue 
of prophetic right over the community. They profess to stand, in 
a civil capacity, like the Israelites of old under their leader Moses. 
The legislature can make no law to regulate the revelations of the 
prophet, save in so far as may be necessary to carry them into 
practical effect. The entire management and ultimate control of 
everything is vested in the presidency, which consists of three 
persons — the seer, and two counsellors of his selection. It is this 
board that governs the universal Mormon church — called universal, 
because they claim to have preached in almost every nation, and 
in every congressional district of the United States ; and have 
established societies called i Stakes of Zion/ on the model of their 
home-assembly, on the islands of the ocean, and on either conti- 
nent. All are bound to obey the presidency — at home, in all 
things; and abroad, in things spiritual, independent of every 
consideration — and the converts are commanded to gather to the 
mountains as fast as may be convenient and compatible with their 
character and situation. 

The reason for this command is grounded in those peculiar 
spiritual pretensions which have all along conduced to separate 
the Mormons from other civilised communities. The leading' 
pretension is, that they constitute the only true church of God 
and Jesus Christ ; and they profess to rest their hopes on the 

28 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

expectation of divine intervention in gathering* to themselves all 
who are destined and prepared to embrace the < true and ever- 
lasting* gospel.' When their numbers shall be complete, they 
suppose that all the sects of Christendom will be absorbed into the 
one which will be most concentrated and numerous. This amal- 
gamated host will then constitute what they seem to regard as 
the army of Antichrist, which, ' under the banner of the Pope of 
Rome/ will prepare to confront the Saints of the Latter Days in 
mortal conflict. In the contest, the Saints expect to be victorious ; 
and then the earth will become their undivided property, and 
Christ will descend from heaven to reign over them through a 
blissful millennium. 

It were idle to say anything about the absurdity of the claims 
thus cursorily summed up ; and, indeed, it is matter of question 
whether the Mormons will long continue to entertain them. We 
suspect that even now they obtain but little recognition, except 
among the speculative and most visionary of the priestly orders, 
and are by them for the most part reserved as esoteric mysteries. 
We are told that the preaching from the pulpit, and the usual 
extempore teachings, are restricted to the promulgation of doctrines 
like those commonly inculcated by the Christian sects which hold 
to faith, repentance, baptism, and the resurrection of the body. 
1 Their mode of conducting" worship is to assemble at a particular 
hour, and the senior priest then indicates order by asking a blessing* 
on the congregation and exercises, when a hymn from their own 
collection is sung, pra} r er made extempore, and another sacred 
song, followed by a sermon from some one previously appointed 
to preach, which is usually continued by exhortations and re- 
marks from those who " feel moved upon to speak.' 7 Then notice 
of the arrangement of the tithe-labour for the ensuing week, 
and information on all secular matters interesting to them in a 
church capacity, is read by the council- clerk, and the congregation 
dismissed by a benediction.' * Everything of a gloomy or sombre 
character is excluded from the ordinances ; and during the assem- 
bling and departure of the congregation, their feelings are exhila- 
rated by an excellent band of music playing marches, waltzes, and 
animating anthems. 

In all their social and domestic relations, the Mormons are 
represented as being uniformly cheerful. Though professedly 
living in anticipation of a miraculous millennium, they object not 
to enjoy the hour that now is, and cordially participate in all the 
healthful and gladdening satisfactions which this temporary state 
affords. It is one of their peculiarities to blend the serious with 
the gay, and to invest their most light and frivolous pastimes with 
a kind of religious sanction. 6 In their social gatherings and 
evening-parties,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, i patronised by the 
presence of the prophets and apostles, it is not unusual to open the 

* Gunnison. 

29 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

ball with prayer, asking* the blessing" of God upon their amusements, 
as well as upon any other engagement ; and then will follow the 
most sprightly dancing-, in which all join with hearty good-will, 
from the highest dignitary to the humblest individual ; and this 
exercise is to become part of the temple-worship, to " praise God 
in songs and dances." These private balls and soirees are fre- 
quently extended beyond the time of cock-crowing by the younger 
members ; and the remains of the evening repast furnish the 
breakfast for the jovial guests. The cheerful happy faces, the 
self-satisfied countenances, the cordial salutation of brother or 
sister on all occasions of address, the lively strains of music pouring 
forth from merry hearts in every domicile, as women and children 
sing their " songs of Zion," while plying the domestic tasks, give 
an impression of a happy society in the vales of Deseret.' 

In only one respect can the Mormons be said to outrage the 
ordinary morality of mankind — and that is in what has been styled 
c their peculiar institution of polygamy.' ' That many have a 
large number of wives in Deseret/ says Gunnison, 'is perfectly 
manifest to any one residing long among them ; and, indeed, the 
subject begins to be more openly discussed than formerly ; and it 
is announced that a treatise is in preparation, to prove by the 
Scriptures the right of plurality by all Christians, if not to declare 
their own practice of the same.' This we must regard as a serious 
and debasing blemish in their ' patriarchal ? form of life, tending, 
as it manifestly does, to the inevitable dishonouring of women, 
and the desecration of the holy ties of family. It seems probable, 
however, that among a people so generally earnest and sincere, 
there is natural health and virtue enough to lead them back 
eventually to a nobler and purer relation of the sexes — to that 
sacred and only natural relation which from the first has been 
ordained to man and woman. 

There are some other disturbing elements in Mormonism, which 
are most likely destined to be cast out or modified, if their peculiar 
social polity is ever to be anything but a temporary experiment. 
Right as they may be, theoretically, in holding that just and proper 
human government rests upon a true interpretation of the divine 
will, their practical exemplification of the principle is nothing more 
than a product of the human will — the will, namely, of the seer — 
supported and directed by such judgment, intelligence, and other 
mere natural ability which he may happen to possess. If the 
voice of the seer were, in fact, the voice of God, all would indeed 
be well, and their theocratical pretensions might seem to be suffi- 
ciently established. But so long as we have only the seer's word, 
and the assertions of his disciples in support of the assumption, the 
claim of a divine right to govern must be tested by its results ; and 
whether these be admirable or the contrary, the power of a ruler 
acting by so indefinite a right, resolves itself into a manifestation 
of pure despotism. While the despotism is just, and the people 
comparatively incompetent to take part in the management of 

30 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

their political affairs, such a system of government may be pro- 
ductive of advantages, and in most respects answer the needs and 
ends of the society ; but as education spreads, and the perennial inspi- 
ration of the seer comes to be doubted or denied, a pretension so arro- 
gant and preposterous will inevitably produce rebellions, and must 
finally go the way of all the shams that have been annihilated. This 
the present president, Brigham Young, apparently perceives, for we 
hear that, with praiseworthy caution, he is l wary of giving* reve- 
lations/ and seems to be waiting for the time when they may be 
quietly dispensed with. He tells the people that the prophet has 
left more work carved out, than several years of faithful diligence 
will accomplish ; and until all the duties thus entailed have been 
fulfilled, he does not consider it needful to ask for any more light 
from Heaven! 

In drawing what we have written to a close, our own conclusion 
is, that the Mormon doctrines are for the most part nonsense, but 
that what the Mormons do is in many ways commendable. The 
world may very well permit them to indulge in their millennial 
fancies and patriarchal crotchets, so long as they live peaceably 
and honestly among themselves, and make no intolerant aggres- 
sions on the beliefs and religious systems that differ from their 
own. Their steadfast and honourable industry, the unity of aim 
and sentiment that subsists among them, their zealous devotion to* 
a central idea, their reverent, if perverted, recognition of a Supreme 
Power over them, the pleasant fellowship that results from their 
social regulations, and the robust and sterling independence by 
which they are distinguished as a community; these, and other 
highly creditable qualities and characteristics, assuredly entitle 
them to the honest respect of all candid and discriminating persons, 
and must sooner or later secure for them an extensive and deserv- 
ing admiration. Nothing but good- will and an indulgent charity 
are due to these earnest, stalwart children of the desert — these 
rough and intrepid backwoodsmen of the universe — who, called by 
a voice which they but imperfectly understand, have nevertheless 
gone forth to subdue and cultivate a remote and barren region, so 
that, instead of the heath and the brushwood, it may bear grain 
for the food of man, and become a blossoming and fruitful garden 
for his habitation and delight. Not inaptly have they been likened 
to the Puritans of New England ; for although their professing faith 
is different, they resemble them thoroughly in their hardy isolation 
and exclusiveness, and are endowed with* the like invincibility of 
purpose ; they are as energetic and as enduring ; they have sus- 
tained persecutions more fiery and desolating, have toiled against 
all imaginable obstructions for liberty to work and live, contended 
bravely with wild Indians and the hordes of pestilent outlaws that 
lurk about the frontiers of civilisation ; they have passed through 
many and enormous perils in roadless prairies and primeval forests, 
in rocky fastnesses and on the waves of bridgeless rivers ; and after 
the severest struggles and endurance, they have at last made for 

31 



HTSTOBY OF THE MORMONS. 

themselves a prosperous and peaceful home in the bosom of the 
wilderness. These people are not to be despised, nor too much 
taunted with the impositions or irregularities of their founders ; 
for whatever may have been the moral state of Mormon society in 
times past,, according to all reliable testimony, great improvement 
has been for a long while steadily g^oing on, and is sufficient to 
justify us in the belief, that in regard to the few peculiarities of 
conduct which demand our reprehension, there will eventually be 
a decided and permanent reformation. Their successful exempli- 
fication of a great social principle — the principle of concert in 
employments, and in the distribution of the products of their 
industry, along with the many solid and generous virtues which 
are daily manifested by their common lives and conversation — 
may be fairly considered proof of a large preponderance of worth, 
sufficient to overbalance the few admitted sins they may be guilty 
of ; and considering that there is no society in which there is so 
little habitual crime and misery, and so large an amount of general 
comfort and wellbeing, the Mormon polity may be said to be 
admirably suited to the people living under it, and to answer all 
the ends for which it has been constituted. As a plan for obtaining 
the aggregate result of single efforts, it is the best social and 
industrial experiment that has yet been tried on any considerable 
scale. Summed up in the words of one of the Mormon writers — 
a man of no indifferent learning and ability — it is a polity 
intended to enable and induce c each person to operate at what and 
where he can do best, and with all his might ; being subject to 
the counsel of those above Mm. 5 In an enterprise so nobly philo- 
sophical and judicious, no unprejudiced or discerning mind can 
wish them anything but a continued and prolonged success. 





THE ROCK REPUBLIC: 



ROHICLE OF TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO. 

I. 

OME of the most remarkable and curious 
pages in history escape the attention even of 
the serious student, because they perhaps refer 
to some obscure part of the world, or other events 
occur at the same time with those they record 
which weigh so heavy in the balance of human 
progress, that things in themselves deeply interest- 
ing are scarcely known beyond the locality where 
they occur. Local chronicles frequently contain records 
of actions which, had they simply taken place on a larger 
scale, would have excited the universal attention of mankind. 
Eienzi had Rome for his theatre ; Masaniello, Naples : hence 
they live on the perpetual tablets of world-memory, Another hero, 
No. 54. I 




THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

another thinker, whose history is even perhaps more striking", 
whose actions excited the wonder, admiration, and love of his 
fellow-countrymen, and who performed a real prodigy in a time 
of remarkable men, is now forgotten, his name doubtful, and his 
acts buried in the archives of his native land, or mentioned in 
the reports of an antiquarian society.* 

Somewhere about the sixth century, there was built in Gaul a 
city called Aleth ; or rather, we first hear of it at that date. It was 
on the sea-shore, and well fortified. Near at hand was a rocky 
island, known as Aaron's Isle, for there a holy man, Aaron by 
name, built a monastery and a church. The dwellers in Aleth 
paid no attention for some time to this island, because it wanted 
water ; but by and by the Norman pirates came and twice pillaged 
their city, making of the island their place of shelter : upon this, 
in 1140, the inhabitants removed to the island, and built a city 
upon it, which they fortified, and called it St Malo, after a 
bishop of that name, much venerated by them. An indomi- 
table and energetic race, a nest of sailors, adventurers, mer- 
chants, corsairs, the Malouines were known in the days of the 
Crusaders as the light troops of the sea* From the time of Clovis, 
the kings of France and the Dukes of Brittany struggled for 
possession of the city, but always in vain. It continued to main- 
tain its independence, supporting the prince which pleased the 
people best. They were governed by a bishop elected by popular 
vote; he was called Lord of St Malo. But although he and 
the chapter had much power, the citizens made the laws and 
elected all officerb ; they had the duty of guarding the town, and 
chose their own chiefs. All foreigners who came to reside there 
were obliged to become citizens, and no king or prince had ever a 
fugitive given up to him. Even the pope recognised the inde- 
pendence of the Malouines, and took care to be respectful in all his 
briefs, lest they might haughtily deny his authority. At one time 
entering into an alliance with Jean de Montfort, they narrowly 
escaped falling into English hands ; and being in difficulties, they 
gave themselves to the pope, who handed them over to the 
king : but this remained not long. The Malouines fell under 
the gentle rule of the Duke of Brittany, and remained so for some 
time ; but presently, when Anne of Brittany married Charles VIII., 
their ten centuries of independence ended. The Duchess Anne ob- 
tained possession of the place, and took all power out of the hands 
of the maritime republic, making the bishop, chapter, and common- 
alty together bow to her. She built a formidable citadel, and when 
the people murmured, ordered an inscription to be stuck up, which at 
once demonstrated her insolence and the subjection of the people — 



QUIC-EN-GKROGNE 

AINSY SERA 

c'est MON PLAISIR. 



GROWL AS YOU MAY 

SO IT SHALL BE 

SUCH IS MY PLEASURE. 



* To the patient research of M. August© Billiard is owing our extended 
knowledge of certain facts here recounted. 
2 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

The people afterwards effaced this inscription , but the tower to the 
present day is called familiarly the Tower of Quic-en-Grogne. 

Sullen and discontented, the Malouines never even appeared to 
notice the presence of Louis XII. or Francis I. in their city ; and 
when the wars of religion commenced, contrived to side neither 
with king nor League, although in heart stubborn Catholics. The 
Count de Fontaines held the castle of Anne of Brittany for the 
king ; the Duke de Mercosur had possession of the great fort on the 
mainland, called Solidor. By the exercise of a little cunning and 
gentle violence, the citizens obtained the exclusive guard of the 
city itself — still, however, under the guns of the citadel — and in 
the same way took possession of Solidor. The count and the duke, 
when they beheld the citizens resume their old trading habits 
unfettered and untaxed, saw that they had been outgeneraled; 
and in 1590 it was rumoured. that Henry IV., having come to the 
throne, had given orders for St Malo to be assimilated to other 
French towns, deprived of its privileges and liberties, and forced 
to pay regular taxes. This rumour caused a state of extreme and 
angry excitement. 



II. v 

St Malo has but little changed since the days of which we speak : 
it is almost as peculiar and fresh now as it was then. It is a vast 
rock, on which some ten thousand men, women ; and children 
cluster like bees in a hive. Its towers, its cathedral, its lofty 
houses, and its magnificent ramparts of hewn granite, rise perpen- 
dicularly from the sea ; on one side, the ocean ; on the other, a 
narrow channel, separating it from verdant meadows, green- 
bosomed hills, mounds surmounted by wind-mills, woods, valleys, 
and scattered habitations, a town — St Servan— and the advanced- 
guard of the Ranee river, the dark towers of Solidor. 

The town of St Malo is composed of narrow and sombre streets, 
with here and there a little lively open place, with a fountain, or a 
tree in the centre, and surrounded by very striking mansions. 
From the ramparts the view is magnificent ; while, looking down 
from the towers of the citadel, you behold, a hundred feet below, the 
sea breaking against the heavy rocks which form the foundation 
of the castle. This fortress seemed to overshadow the free city as 
with a cloud ; and few passed the huge tower of Quic-en-Grogne 
without murmuring, and without cursing the folly that had 
ever ^ induced them to allow an enemy thus to iix himself in a 
position by which he was able to intimidate and command the 
citizens. 

; Those were good old times/ said a gray-haired citizen one 
evening, who, surrounded by a group of friends, sat on the ram- 
parts immediately beneath the citadel, 'when our commonalty 
made the laws, appointed all officers, and when, under Josselin 

3 



* 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

de Rohan, the good bishop, we beat off, unaided, except by the 
blessed Virgin, the Duke of Lancaster and an English fleet. 7 

\ Ay, those were days, Porcon de la Barbinais, 7 replied a man 
somewhat younger than himself, glancing uneasily at the ramparts 
of the castle, where two or three sentinels walked up and down, 
while in a corner stood a lady, richly dressed, in conversation 
with a young man in the garb of a Malouine. c But mind what 
you say. Yon walls have long ears, and there are those on the 
ramparts whom I would not have hear our discourse. 7 

i Ah, sorrow and shame/ replied the ex-corsair Porcon de la 
Barbinais, father of the heroic leader who, years later, attacked the 
Algerines, and, taken prisoner, was sent away to treat, and failing 
to bring about an arrangement, returned to die — ' Ah, sorrow and 
shame, to think that so gallant and sedate a youth should allow 
himself to be led away by love and ambition, to abandon his 
country and serve the enemy of his native city V 

c Excuse me, Father Porcon/ modestly observed a youth of 
about twenty, a young sailor, wearing the picturesque naval 
costume of the day ; c at all events, Henry the Fourth is king of 
France. 7 

c And what has France to do with us ? 7 replied Porcon sharply. 
* When did St Malo recognise either Brittany or Gaul ? By what 
right does any power or potentate come and impose his sove- 
reignty over us ? Did we not found St Malo on a barren rock ? — 
did we not build, and fortify, and defend ourselves always, without 
king or prince's aid ? — have we not fitted out fleets for all parts of 
the world ourselves ? — and why comes any power to ask us for 
taxes, imposts, and royal dues ? 7 

' Because,' said the youth, whose name was Pepin de la Blinais, 
a name in local history most revered, ■ we are weak, and the king 
of France is strong. But again allow me, Father Porcon, to 
observe, that Michel Fortet de la Bardeliere has as yet not deserved 
the universal blame which has fallen on him. 7 

' Has he not ? \ replied Porcon bitterly. c Was he not, after two 
or three years of travel and voyage with our best captains, destined 
by his father for the robe? — did he not take to learning with 
enthusiasm ? — did he not in -B.Ye years speak Greek and Latin like 
a Lutheran doctor? — did not all St Malo love him as one who 
was to shed glory on his native city ? — and has he not deserted 
all to live in the society of our enemies, whispering soft non- 
sense in the ears of Isabella de Fontaines — to be one day driven 
shamefully away for daring to raise his eyes to one so far his 
superior ? 7 

' He has, 7 said Pepin with a sigh, while all the crowd gave vent 
to a low murmur of indignation, casting their eyes upward with 
menace and ang'er. 

' And are we not promised that our city shall fall into the- hands 
of the Bearnais, have its every privilege destroyed, and its 
inhabitants crushed by heavy imposts, by the hands of this Count 

4 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

de Fontaines, who will perhaps give us Michel as echevin, or 
bishop, or seneschal ? ' 

6 He would not dare/ said an old man, rising from the seat he 
occupied — < he would not dare ! ' 

' Why not?^ asked a voice near at hand, that made all start and 
shudder; and yet it was a rich and musical voice too. It was 
Michel Fortet de la Bardeliere. He had parted with the lady on 
the ramparts, and, descending quietly; had approached the group 
of talkers unperceived, and heard the last two sentences. He was 
a young man of about five-and-twenty, dark, pale, thoughtful, 
with great lustrous eyes, and a mouth rather hard in expression, as 
if it were accustomed, or destined, to command. He wore loose 
breeches, black stockings, shoes with buckles, a jacket, shewing a 
shirt of lace and line linen, a broad-brimmed hat, and a sword. 

' Michel — Michel ! ' said old Porcon gravely, ' as you now know 
our opinions of you, let me speak, and try to lead you the right 
way.' 

' Speak ! ' said he gravely. 

c You are the friend and companion of the Count de Fontaines, 
our enemy/ began Porcon. 

'I am but his hired servant — his secretary, if you will/ said 
Michel coldly. 

' You love his daughter/ continued Porcon. 

■ I love his daughter/ replied Michel, folding his arms. 

1 You aspire to be the ruler and governor of your native city/ 
said Porcon with flashing eyes, while the others looked as if they 
could have cast Michel from the summit of the battlements. 

' I do. And mark me, good Master Porcon/ continued Michel 
coldly, 6 1 will be, despite all your efforts, ere many days perhaps, 
ruler and governor of my native city.' And without a single 
word more, the young man turned away and walked along 
the ramparts in the direction of the Sillon. It was difficult 
to tell whether his mouth gave token more of scorn or stern 
resolution. 

The group, burning with indignation, descended to the principal 
place of the city, and there, joined by others, vented their anger 
in murmurs. So enraged at length became the citizens, that there 
was a very great crowd collected. Voices were heard giving 
extreme counsels; threats were freely banded about; and men 
spoke of attacking the castle with as much earnestness, as if it 
had not been all but impregnable. Suddenly a loud hush caused 
silence, as a party of six horsemen, headed by Michel walking on 
foot, came up to the open place, in the centre of which stood the 
episcopal palace, now inhabited by Charles de Bourneuf, a noto- 
rious Leaguer in his heart, and for this reason as much suspected 
by the people as was the king's officer who held the castle. The 
troop was headed by a captain of noble mien, somewhat bluff, and 
even then rather stern, who looked about him curiously. 

f Your good people of St Malo are but sorrily pleased at some 

5 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

event/ observed the horseman to Michel, who walked proudly 
beside the soldier. 

c Sir Captain, it 'is my unworthy self they are exciting them- 
selves about. In favour at the castle, I cannot be in favour in 
the city.' 

'So, young" man, you are in favour at the castle/ said the 
captain with a smile. 

' I am private secretary to Count de Fontaines/ replied Michel 
carelessly. 

6 But why should your favour in the city be in inverse ratio to 
what it is at the fortress 1 ' asked the soldier, who was pressing" his 
horse slowly and gently through the crowd. 

' Because, Sir Captain, the fortress, without any just reason or 
excuse, is accused of wishing to make St Malo a king's city.' 

'.And, Ventre St Gris ! ' cried the soldier, 6 where would be the 
harm of that 1 ' 

1 St Malo/ said Michel sarcastically, * was once a free city, 
ruling itself after the fashion of Greek or Roman republic ; its 
own master, free, owing no allegiance to king or prince, and it 
wishes to be the same now ' 

■ No, no ! Master Secretary/ replied the soldier merrily, 6 this 
will never do. A republic in the kingdom of France ! — a pretty 
example for the disaffected. Why, all the strong places would 
be declaring themselves republics, refusing to pay imposts, and 
leaving the poor king to earn his bread like a farmer or a 
manant.' 

1 Very likely/ said Michel drily, but speaking so low as only to 
be heard by his companion. 

'No, no ! when all France was cut up into provinces, this was 
possible, Master Secretary; but of many good parts we are making 
now a noble whole ; and let but interior peace come, and we shall 
have a great, a splendid country, powerful by sea and land ; and 
the king cannot even spare St Malo.' 

This last speech was heard by the citizens, who, though they 
said nothing, shewed by their looks their bitter discontent. "When 
Michel and the soldiers passed up the street leading to the fort, 
the groups formed again. A few minutes later, a man came 
hurriedly forth from the episcopal palace. It was the bishop 
himself. 

' Porcon/ said he to the old man above mentioned, * do you 
know that captain who was with Michel the traitor 'I ' 

6 No, your reverence.' 

6 It was the Bearnais, the king of Navarre, falsely calling him- 
self Henry the Fourth, king of France.' And the bishop returned 
to his palace without another word. He had said quite enough. 
A low murmur of surprise, of admiration at the courage of the 
king, and then an explosion of indignation burst forth. 

6 The moment for action is come ! ' said Pepin significantly 
to some friends around him. The word passed, and silence 

6 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 



overspread the whole place. In five minutes more the crowd had 
dispersed, each man to his own dwelling-. 



III. 

It was Henry IV. indeed, who, not yet firmly seated on his 
throne, was making* a journey through his province of Brittany, 
to judge for himself of the state of the public mind towards the 
king*. Aware that St Malo was by no means well affected towards 
his person and dignity, because of his former Protestantism, his 
doubtful conversion, and his intention to centralise government, he 
determined to enter the castle, consult M. de Fontaines, and judge 
for himself as to the spirit of the inhabitants. By the time he 
had reached the castle, he was still more firmly convinced that in 
his dear city of St Malo, as he was pleased to call it, he was far 
from being 1 popular ; while he was too good a general, and had too 
observant an eye, not to be aware of the paramount importance of 
possessing a place so strongly fortified, and having so hardy a 
population. He scrutinised with a soldier's glance the ramparts 
of the castle, and vowed within himself that he would not rest in 
peace until he ruled over that quaint old city. ' By the faith of a 
soldier/ said he energetically, as he entered the chateau, ( Monsieur 
de Fontaines has done well to bid the king fix his eye on St Malo. 
It is a good place, Master Secretary, and a goodly jewel in a 
king's crown.' 

' Sire, 7 replied Michel respectfully, e it may suit your majesty, 
but your majesty does not seem to suit it.' 

1 Truth to say,' laughed Henry, i you say right. I verily 
believe the good fishermen would eat me if they but knew 
who I am. However, since you know me, young master; you 
must also know that I did not suit France, and yet I am its 
king.' 

1 We all in St Malo know the wonders you have effected,' 
exclaimed Michel; 'but here is the governor coming forth to 
meet your majesty.' 

As the visit of the king to St Malo was intended to be kept 
secret, the Count de Fontaines received him merely as an officer 
of rank, and accompanied him to a well-supplied table, where he 
was soon joined by his daughter Isabella and Master Secretary. 
The girl at once attracted the king's attention. She was about 
sixteen, fair haired, with waving curls, a white forehead, in- 
telligent eyes, and a sweet expression of countenance, especially 
when looking at Michel. This circumstance made Henry IV. 
frown, being apt to think that when such a cavalier as himself 
was present, no woman of taste should look at another. But he 
did not allow this thought to draw his attention from the object 
of his journey. 

' So, my Lord Count,' said he, after some preliminary discourse, 

7 



THE BOCK REPUBLIC. 

1 you think it will be easy to capture the city, and put in a royal 
garrison.' 

6 Nothing more easy, sire,' replied he, none now being at table 
but himself, the king, and the two young people : c give me but 
the word, and the town shall be ours to-night.' 

c But how do you propose to act 1 ' asked the king, who had ever 
a relish for military plans. 

' The city-guard rests, and the people will soon be asleep. At 
midnight there will not be an owl stirring. I will enter the city 
with a hundred soldiers, leaving the rest as a reserve, and simply 
proclaiming your presence in the castle, St Malo is ours.' 

Isabella turned very pale, Michel ground his teeth and started. 
His emotion, however, was not remarked. 

' Nay/ said the king ; \ the people are goodly burghers, and 
would fight. We should have a scene of midnight massacre that 
makes my heart sick. Let us try other means. To-morrow, sum- 
mon them in the king's name to yield to his authority, and then if 
they refuse, we can use force.' 

* As your majesty wishes,' replied De Fontaines, who, a rough 
soldier, knew no means of action save brute strength and measures 
of violence, unfortunately an idea but too prevalent with military 
men in all ages. 

s If I might be permitted to speak/ said Michel respectfully, 
6 1 would give a piece of advice.' 

( Speak, Master Secretary,' replied Henry IV. drily. 

'In my humble opinion, neither course will succeed. Your 
majesty is not master of France till your conversion to the 
Catholic Church has been recognised by the pope ; therefore 
St, Malo thinks herself bound by no ties to obey you, while the 
stout burghers would rather bury their city in its own ruins than 
be ruled by one suspected of heresy.' 

c Truly,' said the king still more drily. ( Well, as you think 
that my reasons may not prove convincing, what say you to the 
warlike proposition of Messire de Fontaines 1 ' 

c He might succeed ; but the Malouines are stubborn dogs, 
and I fancy the burgher-guard would perish to .a man first. They 
know the value of liberty. They pay no taxes now except to 
themselves, and they fear that your majesty, however gentle and 
generous a king, may not exempt them from state charges, if 
they once join France.' 

i And personally what think you ? ' asked the king with a 
scrutinising air. 

f Sire, I should not sympathise with men who hate me because 
they see me here, but at bottom I think them right,' and the 
young' man smiled at the vacant astonishment of De Fontaines. 

6 Then why are you not with them V continued the king. 

' For many reasons, sire,' said Michel with some emotion : 
* in the first place, because of my strong personal attachment to 
Monsieur de Fontaines, a man of learning and parts, in whose 

8 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

society and conversation I learn much that is valuable and 
useful.' 

The Count de Fontaines appeared much nattered, the king- 
laughed heartily. 

c I should have thought it was the count found your learn- 
ing* ag-reeable, for I believe you have studied and read, young* man. 
But is the Lady Isabella a person of learning-, and do you find her 
society also valuable and useful 1 ' 

1 The Lady Isabella, sire, is a person of rare modesty, talents, 
and with a deep desire for study. Shut up in this castle, her chief 
resource is books, and she has been j)leased to ask my advice and 
assistance in fathoming* the secrets of Latin and Greek poesy/ 
replied Michel firmly. 

<A new Abelard and Heloise,' said the king with something 
of a frown ; c but you may retire to your studies, as I have 
private business with the governor, Master Secretary.' 

Michel bowed and retired, the Lady Isabella having preceded 
him by ten minutes. The king waited until he was quite out of 
hearing. 

i Sir Count, that youth is a burning local patriot. He is per- 
sonally attached to you, and more so to your daughter, but the 
moment you turn against his native city, he will abandon you, 
and combat you even unto the death. 7 

6 Sire ! ' exclaimed the astounded governor, opening eyes that 
would have done honour to a Mongolian idol ; f you mistake Michel. 
The lad loves but Greek and Latin ; he reads all day, and is the 
companion of my daughter, and my secretary and friend. He 
could never be a traitor.' 

( Count de Fontaines, there are few men who have not been 
traitors within the last twenty years, during these long civil wars. 
But I have learned to read men's countenances. This youth has 
served you while the ally and protector of his native city. But 
once turn against St Malo, and, knowing your plans, he will 
frustrate them. Make no noise, but see that he does not leave the 
castle to-night.' 

f Your majesty shall be obeyed,' said the count, rising- with an 
effort. 

'; No haste, Sir Count ; let us take a walk on the ramparts, and 
there consider further of what is to be done.' 

And the king and the count walked forth to the battlements in 
earnest discourse. 



IV. 

The great tower of the castle of Anne of Brittany was the 
favourite place of resort both of Isabella and Michel. Here they 
often sat for hours in the day reading, watching the waves, the 
wide sea, and the white sails glancing in the distance on the moving 

No. 54. 9 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

waters. In the evening", they sometimes came with the count to 
spend an hour or two in discourse ; and on the present occasion, 
the two young" people were seated there in the company of two 
waiting-maids, who conversed in a corner of their absent sweet- 
hearts ; both being well-favoured girls, sought in marriage by rich 
young citizens of the town. It was a lovely night. The moon 
danced over the speckled waters with a brightness almost equal 
to that of day, silvering" the house-tops and the ramparts, the 
cathedral and the rocks of St Malo, while it brought out in bold 
relief the towers of Solidor. 

i I must leave you/ said Michel in a low tone ; 6 my dream of 
love and happiness is over. Your father has at last resolved to 
become the aggressor. You know my feelings, you know my 
hopes ; but you know also that I love my native city, and am 
determined to see it free and independent. I have never deceived 
you, and in your heart you are a Malouine yourself? 

* Yes, Michel, you have taught me to love all that belongs to 
you. Your country is my country, your home my home. I 
was but a French girl two years ago, now I am of St Malo. But 
remember your solemn promise and my vow. You will in any 
struggle look after my father ; and I, if anything happens to 
him, shall enter a convent, and we part for ever. But could I 
not warn him 1 ' 

i Isabella, your father never tells you his secrets ; if he did, you 
would not betray them to me. I tell you mine ; they must be 
sacred as your word.' 

They were looking down from the battlements as they spoke to 
where the sea broke against the rocks a hundred and twenty feet 
below. 

* I will keep true to my word/ exclaimed Isabella ; c but be 
careful. 7 

f My love, I answer for your father's life with mine/ replied. 
Michel warmly. 

1 And be careful of your own/ continued Isabella sadly ; and 
then she added more cheerfully, l at all events, my Greek and 
Latin lessons are at an end.' 

i Why, dearest ? ' asked Michel anxiously. 

{ Because you are now so occupied with your warlike schemes, 
your plots and conspiracies, that you will have no time to think 
of me.' 

{ When the time comes that I do not think of you, my heart 
will have ceased to beat. But adieu, Lady Isabella ; here is the 
king and your father.' 

6 Whither away so hastily?' said the rather sarcastic voice of 
the king. 

f I was making place for your majesty/ replied Michel with a 
shudder. In the sound of that voice, he thought he detected a 
suspicion of his great secret. 

' Nay, stay near the Lady Isabella, while the count and I keep 

10 



THE BOCK REPUBLIC. 

sentry awhile. Methinks there will he rumours in the city 
to-night. What building* is that so brilliantly lighted up in the 
Grand Place ? ' 

Michel drew a long breath, and then answered calmly, a clock 
meanwhile striking ten : ' It is the palace of the bishop.' 

1 A notorious Leaguer/ said the king. 

f Yes, sire, and hence kept a prisoner in his own palace.' 

* I' faith, a goodly set of rebels, that will own neither one king 
nor the other, nor even their own bishop-elect/ said Henry IV. 
laughing, and then he turned to whisper to the governor. They 
leaned over the battlements towards the town, so placed that no 
one could descend the stairs of the tower without brushing* against 
them ; while Michel and Isabella overlooked the sea. 

The town was dark and still, save where the palace of the 
bishop stood out in marked relief in the large place. Suddenly 
this was more evident as the moon disappeared, and the scene 
became in general dark and gloomy. At this moment, a bugle 
sounded from some unknown spot in the town— a grave and 
solemn air, that made the heart of king and governor beat : it was 
almost unearthly in its tone. 

( What means that ? ' said Henry IV. in a low tone. . 

c I know not ; but perhaps if we ask Michel, he will tell us/ 
replied the governor. c He knows all the customs of the place.' 

i Then ask him, in God's name, for methinks that horn bodes no 
good, sounding at this hour in the silent city.' 

They turned to where Michel and Isabella had been, but Michel 
had disappeared, and Isabella was standing up, her back turned 
to them, talking with her maids. 

6 Where is Michel ? ' said the Count de Fontaines, hurriedly 
advancing towards his daughter. 

( He left me but a moment since, and said he would be back 
presently,' replied Isabella. 

1 Said I not so ? ' muttered the king. t There is something 
beneath all this. Count de Fontaines, go down into the castle, 
and keep good watch. I will mount sentry myself on this tower. 
I feel that the night will not pass without events. Be quick ; 
and if you can, prevent Michel from leaving the castle. Put him 
in safe custody until the morning.' 

The count and his daughter left the summit of the tower, and 

descended the stairs leading to the Place d'Armes. Henry 

remained alone. His mind was in that uneasy state which is 

said to prelude misfortune. He was anxious, because he could 

not tell whence the danger w^ould come; but he determined, 

fatigued as he was, to watch all night, and take rest only next 

day. He walked up and down for some time, but he heard 

nothing but the wind, which had risen almost to a gale, and howled 

around the battlements, and once more at midnight the sound 

of the wild music played on the mysterious bugle. He looked 

down upon the dark town, but without noticing anything 

n 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

remarkable, except that the palace of the archbishop remained 
lighted up in the same brilliant manner. He then sat down for a 
few minutes, musing' deeply ; then his eyes closed a moment : he 
saw again Michel and Isabella, and he heard afar off the semi- 
wailing* of a plaintive horn ; and then he was in a sound sleep, from 
which he awoke only when startled by the din of arms, the firing 
of guns, and a general murmur throughout the castle. He rubbed 
his eyes, and started to his feet. 

We must, however, retrograde an hour or two. 



? Pepin de la Blinais occupied, in one of the most retired streets 
of the town, but close to the port, a larg-e house, where also were 
stored the goods in which he and an elder brother dealt. There 
was an office where the clerks attended to their duties and 
received their customers, the apartments above of the young 
men, and an extensive warehouse. This had been just emptied 
of goods and cleared out for the purpose of receiving the cargo of 
two ships recently arrived in port. About half-past nine on the 
same evening that saw the stirring events above described, Pepin 
de la Blinais, who with his brother had been to a grand dinner 
at the episcopal palace, entered his house, and, while Guillaume 
performed some prearranged duties in the warehouse, ascended 
to the roof, and there, precisely at ten o'clock, hidden among 
the chimneys, sounded the horn which had excited the surprise 
and alarm of King Henry IV. and his general. Then he 
descended, wrapped himself in a long cloak, and issued into the 
street. He went a little way, and then, with a long wand he 
carried, knocked against a door, and waited; presently the door 
opened. 

6 What is it 1 J said a low voice, as if half aware of what was 
going on. 

1 Heard you the horn V replied Pepin. 

\ Ay, I heard/ was the whispered answer. 

1 To-night, at once, at Pepin's.' 

1 Good/ replied the other. 

On went Pepin de la Blinais, knocking sometimes at windows, 
sometimes at doors, and always g*oing through the form of the 
same conversation. He thus, in the space of little more than half 
an hour, visited the houses of more than fifty citizens, and then 
he returned home. In the warehouse he found more than 200 
burghers collected, while at every instant others arrived, Pepin 
having visited but chiefs of tens/ whose business it was on such 
occasions secretly to advise their fellows. Porcon de la Barbinais 
was there, and he at once, by common consent, as the oldest man 
present, took the chair. 

Pepin then rose, and addressed the assembly. He told them 

12 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

that a moment long looked forward to had arrived. The so-called 
king* of France, certainly a brave and gallant man, but a usurper 
and heretic, was about to attempt to lay his hand upon St Malo. 
That city had enjoyed ten centuries of freedom, of liberty and 
independence, but of late years had fallen under a kind of semi- 
allegiance to the king's of France, who, however, had never been 
able to impose taxes, leaving, too, to the people the election of their 
own officers. But now Henry IV. having become king of France, 
being a great general, and an ambitious man, was about to attempt 
the junction of the city of St Malo with his kingdom. He for his 
part was determined not to consent to this. At all events, at the 
very worst, the Malouines should assert their freedom so com- 
pletely, that if ever the power of the kings of France became 
irresistible, they should be able to make the best terms they could. 
There was only one way of making terms with a king, and that 
was to have him on the outside of their walls, or else a prisoner. 
Now Henry IV. was within their walls, of course with some 
sinister object. Now, then, or never, was their time. Let them 
at once fly to arms, and take possession of the citadel ; they would 
then be free. 

A loud exclamation of delight and acquiescence burst from the 
assembly. 

4 But, citizens and people of St Malo/ said Porcon, rising from 
his chair, c though what Pepin proposes be true and just, you 
must not forget that it is difficult of execution. We can never 
be independent unless the castle be ours. 7 

6 Then let us take it/ replied Pepin quietly. 

1 Young man, 'tis easier said than done. The castle is well 
defended : it has within its walls troops of tried valour and 
heroism. How can we, burghers and citizens, hope to attack and 
capture such a citadel? Stone walls are hard, and man's flesh is 
weak/ 

c We can try/ continued Pepin de la Blinais modestly. His 
very tone was heroic. 

' We can all die/ replied Porcon shaking his head. e No one 
ever doubted the valour of the Malouines; but courage can do 
little against stone ramparts.' 

The citizens looked grave, and Pepin bit his lip. He seemed, 
young and ardent as he was, to fear that the counsels of peace 
would prevail. 

' Let us, at all events, prepare some plan. There is no time to 
lose ; not a day' — — 

• ' Not a moment — not an instant/ said a deep and earnest voice 
— the voice of one who, as he spoke, stepped up to where Porcon 
sat, and cast off a thick cloak and slouched hat, which had gained 
him admittance to the assembly. 

' Michel the traitor ! ' cried the whole assembly with one voice. 
: We are betraved ! ' 

•j 

A rush took place towards the audacious intruder, who, how- 

13 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

ever, stood firm, while Porcon, holding out his hand, implored 
silence. 

6 We are not wild beasts ! 7 he thundered ; ' be still ; let Michel 
speak. He is our fellow-citizen. Silence I ' 

A murmur arose from all sides, and then, at the voice of the 
president, who was universally beloved, silence prevailed. 

' Traitor ! ? exclaimed Michel in a sarcastic voice, at the same 
time speaking with the air of a commander rather than a criminal 
before his judges — c Traitor ! My countrymen, I wish that all 
men in St Malo were traitors as I have been. You talk of cap- 
turing the castle. If I find amongst you but fifty men of heart 
and courage, the citadel shall this night be yours, and Henry the 
Pourth your prisoner, and that with little or no bloodshed. You 
call me traitor ! Is there amidst you all one who, for two years, 
could have borne the obloquy and infamy I have borne, with but 
one idea in his head — that of freeing his native country 1 St Malo 
is my life, my soul! Knowing that no ordinary method could 
succeed, two years ago, I became the secretary of the Count de 
Fontaines. 7 Tis true I loved his daughter ; but even the winning 
of her heart was secondary with me to the liberty of St Malo. 
That was my first, my ardent hope. I lived, then, in the castle ; I 
studied its every stone, and as long as nothing was done against 
my native city, I served my master well. I have no right now to 
reveal the secrets of my late employer, but this I tell you, the castle 
must be ours to-night. ? 

Dead silence followed. Men drew long breaths, and all seemed 
relieved from something" that had oppressed them. 

■ O Michel ! Michel ! 7 cried Pepin, rushing into his arms ; c why 
did you not trust me? What misery you caused me for ten 
months past I have no words to tell ! 7 

' My friend, actions like mine cannot bear accomplices. You 
would have sought to defend my character, and I should have been 
betrayed. But listen to me; there is no time to be lost. Are all 
resolved to take the castle to-night 1 7 

f All ! All ! ; said the citizens. 

1 Appoint a chief, then/ replied Michel quietly. 

c Michel/ exclaimed Porcon rising*, f we owe you a reparation of 
the most marked kind : command — we obey. 7 

Michel simply bowed his acceptance, and then gave hurried 
orders. 

' Pepin, pick out fifty-five of the younger members of our body, 
youths who can climb, and whose heads are not likely to grow 
dizzy. Let these follow us. Do you, Porcon, arouse the whole 
guard, and when you hear the horn sound from the summit of the 
Generale Tower, attack the Quic-en-Grogne. Its gates will soon 
open, and the castle is ours. But mark me : take not the life of 
the count, as you love me ; and respect the king. I am no friend 
to his authority, but I admire and reverence the man. Not an 
instant is to be lost — go.' 

14 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

Pepin had in a few minutes found the fifty-five volunteers 
required; the rest then dispersed, to prepare for their warlike 
expedition. The fifty-six remained alone with their young 
chief. 

c What orders now ? ' said Pepin. 

1 Follow me, and let the rest meet us on the port in ten minutes, 
with such boats as will take us all to the foot of the Tower of La 
Generale ! ' 

A look of stupefaction met the words of Michel, who, however, 
coldly waved his hand for them to go. 

' What are you about to do ? ? said Pepin in a low tone, while 
the others hurried to provide arms for the expedition, under the 
influence of a feeling of confidence inspired alone by the manner 
of their young leader. 

* To re-enter the castle as I left it,' replied Michel quietly ; and 
then, as he went along, he explained how he had escaped the 
vigilance of the king and the governor. 

For months he had prepared for the contingency that had 
occurred. In a hollow of the outward battlements of the tower, 
beneath some overhanging weeds, he had concealed a long knotted 
cord, that measured a hundred and twenty feet. This he had fast- 
ened, while the king's attention was withdrawn, to a cannon, and 
then bidding Isabella turn her head away, had descended with 
the agility of a sailor. Once upon the water, he had swum round 
to the port, and reaching the gate, partly by persuasion partly by 
threats, had got it opened. He now proposed that the whole troop 
should ascend to the summit of the tower, and thus capture the 
citadel by a bold and audacious act, letting in afterwards their 
companions to consolidate their victory. Pepin heard with awe, 
wonder, and delight the narrative of Michel, at whose house they 
had now arrived. He went in for a moment, and then came out 
followed by two men, who had been waiting, bearing a heavy 
parcel. It was now midnight ; the fifty-five adventurers were 
waiting at the port ; the city-guard was collecting and arming 
throughout the town ; Henry IV. was watching on the summit 
of La Generale, convinced that something strange was going on 
in St Malo. At this moment Pepin sounded the signal-horn, to 
announce to all to be ready : they had arrived at, the port. 



YI. 

The night was dark, gusty, and tempestuous ; the moon had 
fallen some two hours, and left a gray cold sky, which soon was 
robed in clouds, that came driving up from the north-west with 
singular rapidity. It was a night for an act of desperation, such 
as that which they were about to attempt. When Michel and 
Pepin came down upon the port, they found four large boats 
ready launched, their masts stepped, the sails loosely flapping, and 

15 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

eight men at the oars. Not a word was spoken — not a sound was 
heard beyond the roar of the tempest, the rattling" of cords, and 
the beating of the waves against the shore. Michel chose a boat, 
and at once entered. 

1 A wild night for fishing/ said a rough sailor, who had assisted 
to put out the boats, and, with seven others, was about to share 
the dangers of the night; 'and a strange captain/ he added, as 
he recognised Michel. 

\ Silence, Pierre du Pare ! ? replied Michel ; c but one voice must 
be heard to-night, and that is mine. Put this packet on board/ 

The sailor obeyed with silent wonder. Then Michel and Pepin 
entered the same boat, the latter taking the helm. The sails were 
closely furled, but still a small portion was left open to the wind, 
as the current of the Ranee is strong, and that night ran like a 
mill-race. When they were outside the port, the helmsman put 
the helm hard up, and let the boat run right before the wind. 
The first oarsman almost backed his oar with astonishment. 

c Where, in God's name, are we going V said he. He was one 
of the sailors who was to take care of the boats and seek shelter 
up the river, as soon as the party had landed. 

e Silence, forward there ; let the first man who speaks be thrown 
overboard! 7 replied Michel in a stern commanding voice. The 
man bent quietly to his oar. He now knew that he was on a 
desperate errand, and, like a bold sailor, determined to do his duty, 
whatever it might be. 

Michel steered directly up the bay which formed the mouth of 
the river, with the castle to his left. Already did he hear the 
roar of the rushing waters against the rock, and bidding Pepin be 
cautious,, advanced to the bows of the boat. Behind, he saw the 
three others labouring', like themselves, heavily in the storm, each 
moment becoming more alarming. The dull roar of heaven's 
artillery in the distance soon added to the terror of a scene that, 
to those who were actors in it, was simply sublime. These hardy 
natures, these youths who all their lives had been rocked upon 
the ocean waves, braved the peril with a mysterious feeling of 
excitement not unlike that with which we gaze at a terrible act in 
some mimic drama. They had no fear save of failure, and hence 
only wished themselves at the summit of the Generale. Presently 
Michel made a sign, just as a flash of lightning illumined the 
whole scene. Pepin well understood. Following the direction of 
Michel's arm, he again pressed the helm, shifted the sail, and 
plunged through the roaring waves towards the rock. 

' In sail — back your oars ! ? cried Michel in a low tone, leaping 
at the same time into the boiling and seething waters, the painter 
in hand. The boat struck violently against the rock at the same 
moment, but Michel was above, fastening the line to a projecting 
block of stone. The other boats were easily moored to the first. 
This dangerous part of their duty effected, Michel made a sig'n 
that the boats should run for shelter up the river, to return in two 

16 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

hours with, a good crew, unless they heard such tidings as rendered 
their coming* back unnecessary. First, however, the heavy parcel 
was put on shore. Here, then, in the cold, beaten with the 
surf, stood these fifty-seven men, about to attempt an act almost 
unexampled in history, and which in days when courage alone 
obtained much credit, should have immortalised them all. All 
stood close together, grasping the rock; no one moved a step. 
They would have rolled into the sea, and none could have stirred 
to save them. All were silent, waiting the orders of Michel ; 
and the lightning flashed, and the thunder rolled, and then the 
clock of the cathedral struck <*ne. 

c You see this cord? 7 said Michel in a low, firm, but clear voice. 
•* I must ascend by this. It will safely bear but one man. Once 
up, I shall haul up the ladder contained in this packet. It will 
support a dozen at least. Let parties of thirteen and fourteen 
ascend at a time. But recollect, I will come down again, to head 
the band that ascends first. 7 

'Nay, stop up there/ said Pepin. f It will be so much time 
saved. 7 

1 But how know when all is safe 1 7 asked Michel. 

' At half-past one, the first man shall put his foot on the first 
rope, 7 replied Pepin. Michel made no reply. He had thirty 
minutes to do his work in, and his time was therefore precious. 
While several below held the cord tight, Michel, his sword in his 
teeth, his musketoon on his back, began his ascent ; shaken by the 
wind, stunned by the thunder, and seeing, as he mounted, the sea 
first, then the port, then the ramparts, then the summit of the 
fortress. No man not inured to the sea, and who had not during 
a hurricane gone aloft to furl topgallant-sails, or who had not sat 
out at the leeward end of a yard, plunging* almost at every 
moment in the waves, could have gone up safely. Even Michel 
looked upward, on one side, but never down. His thoughts, 
however, were so bent on his enterprise, that he had no time for 
dizziness to seize him, and in ten minutes he was at the summit. 
He was about to climb over, and had raised one leg*, when he 
saw a man seated on a stone-bench opposite. 

Michel felt his head swim. His daring attempt in favour of 
the ancient liberties and hereditary independence of his native 
island, was about to fail before an unforeseen accident. No 
sentry ever guarded at night the impregnable Generale ; they 
occupied the other ramparts. But in twenty minutes his 
companions would be climbing up, perhaps, a half-fastened ladder. 
Inside the port-hole, which was large, lay a heavy cannon, 
the carriage of which was mending. On this depended the whole 
success of the young man 7 s enterprise. He ensconced himself as 
well as he could outside on the stone projection which served as 
a gutter, holding on inside the port-hole ; then he unfastened the 
rope, and passed one end round the cannon : to this, watching the 
sleeper the whole time, he attached a heavy piece of iron prepared 

17 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

for the purpose, and long* secreted, which he then began lowering", 
hj this means slowly drawing 1 up the rope-ladder. The quarter 
struck, and the sleeper slightly moved. Michel went on delibe- 
rately with his work as if the man had not been there, and soon 
found the end of the rope-ladder in his hand. At this moment 
the man moved again, and rose. Michel had laid down his 
musketoon, but he clutched a dagger and a heavy pistol. He 
had never taken life, but now he was resolved to spare not this 
stranger, if he stood in the way of his success. The man went 
to the side where was the tower, looked over, saw nothing sus- 
picious, and returned to his seat. » In another minute he was 
again asleep ; and Michel, passing his arm through the loophole, 
crossed the battlements, and in a minute was on the top of the 
tower, crouching in the deep shadow of the wall. 

* Who goes there 1 7 said a deep commanding voice that made 
Michel shudder. He lay still and made no reply, his hand upon 
both pistol and dagger, resolved that no man made by God's hand 
should cause his enterprise to fail. 

The man looked sleepily about, muttered to himself that he saw 
shadows everywhere, and again fell asleep. He thus most certainly 
saved his own life. 

At this instant of time, Michel heard distinctly above the storm, 
the first stroke of the half-hour : his heart sank within him. The 
ladder was not safely fastened on one side ; on he went, however, 
with cold and steady hand, knotting, tying, until he heard the 
deep-toned bell cease to vibrate. 

He had not finished yet, and his companions were ascending' ; 
but still he pursued his work, and in a few minutes had completed 
his task. The ladder seemed firm as a rock. Then he rose up 
boldly, and walked slowly up and down the platform of the 
tower. 

■3C- * 4C- ■& 

When Henry IV. awoke the first time from a heavy sleep, his 
eyes were so fatigued that he did not perceive the unusual move- 
ment in the town. He never thought of looking towards the sea : 
it never struck him that any danger could come thence. He 
accordingly, although determined to watch through the night, again 
allowed slumber to gain upon him, believing that any danger 
would become apparent at dawn. When he heard a faint incau- 
tious movement made by Michel, he was half asleep, and what he 
heard seemed part of a restless dream. 

The king was a peasant, alone in a hut — that is, the only one 
awake. On a couch slept a beautiful young woman, with two 
children beside her. All looked warm and comfortable, and a dog 
nestled comfortably at her feet before a bright fire. The peasant 
was gazing with rapture at the scene, when the dog moaned, and 
raised its head, but seeing nothing, it lay down again. Presently 
it barked sharply, and this time the young woman held up her 
head, and seeing the peasant, smiled. i Art not going to rest 

18 



THE KOCK REPUBLIC. 

to-night, my husband?' she said in well-known tones that made 
the man's heart leap. 

* Presently, dearest ; but I have been so happy gazing at you 
that I never thought of slumber/ replied the peasant. 

c Then will I get up and share your watching/ said she ; and 
the beautiful girl rose, and advanced towards the fireplace, while 
the dog leaped up, wagging its tail. 

The king at this moment started, and found himself seated on a 
hard stone-bench, on the summit of the great tower of the Generale, 
a man looking* curiously at him. c Who is it ? 7 cried he, leaping 
up, and laying his hand upon his sword. 

' I, sire/ replied Michel coldly. 

1 Michel! 7 exclaimed the king, rubbing his eyes, and much 
surprised \ c and what do you here ? Surely you do not expect 
the Lady Isabella ! 7 

6 No, sire. I am waiting to hear the cathedral clock strike two/ 
continued Michel firmly, and even somewhat sternly. 

6 Why, Master Secretary ? 7 cried the king, somewhat struck bj 
his tone, and still impressed with the belief that something was 
about to happen. 

* That is a secret your majesty will learn soon enough/ replied 
Michel ; ' for it now strikes the quarter. 7 

At this moment Michel heard a noise that made his blood run 
cold : he clearly distinguished the grating of a cord against iron, 
and knew that the ladder had slightly slipped. His anguish was 
intolerable, 

? Young man/ exclaimed the king with severity, ** I am not 
accustomed to receive such replies. Your answer bodes no good. 
Already I have spoken to the count of my suspicions, and they 
are now realised. Speak, young man, or I will have you arrested 
as a traitor, and punished as you deserve. 7 

c Before I reply to any questions/ said Michel firmly — he had 
heard no further sound — c I must beg your majesty to explain 
what you mean by the word traitor applied to me. 7 

6 If you are in any plot to secure the independence of St Malo, 
and to take this castle out of the king's hand, you are a traitor, a 
double traitor — first to your king, and then to your employer. 7 

' Sire, I have no king. 7 

'How mean you, sirrah? 7 continued Henry IV., much struck 
by the lofty and bold manner of the young man. c Who then, if 
you please, am I ? 7 

' Henry of Navarre, king of France, but not monarch of St 
Malo ; which, since its foundation, has been an independent com- 
munity, allied sometimes to France, sometimes to Brittany, but 
never the serf of either. 7 

6 But France and Navarre are now united ; you can pretend no 
longer to resist both. You might cope with one, backed by the 
other, but never with united France. 7 

6 We will try/ said Michel modestly. 

19 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

* But, madman ! ' said the king 1 , his anger vanishing* before the 
other's audacity, * you may be sure that all France will soon be 
peacefully inclined, and ruled over by me. How, then, can you 
contend against me, with a citadel commanding your town V 

6 1 mean to take the castle/ continued Michel, listening anxiously 
all the time. 

' 'Fore Heaven, you are a bold rascal, Master Michel ; and had I 
not been warned, you would make me uneasy. But now I have 
nothing to fear, since I am prepared. You must certainly expect 
me to put you in confinement.' And the king made a motion for 
the other to follow. 

'Your majesty may be assured, that had I not been certain 
of my success, I should have remained silent/ said Michel coldly. 

6 But, man of enigmas, explain yourself. When do you mean 
to take the castle 1 ' cried the king impatiently. 

1 This morning, as the clock strikes two/ said Michel quietly. 

1 The fellow is mad ! ' exclaimed Henry, half inclined to laugh. 
* Your means ; for it will strike two instantly.' 

I If your majesty will look over towards the town at the open 
place before the Quic-en-Grogne, you will begin to understand.' 

The king turned hurriedly to the ramparts, and peering down 
into the depths below, saw distinctly a body of about 1000 men, 
standing silently in front of the main-entrance of the castle, with 
six pieces of cannon pointed towards the gates of the hated 
tower. 

1 Ah ! Ventre St Gris ! these knavish citizens have caught us 
napping. Master Secretary, this must be looked to. You are my 
prisoner ; follow me ! ■ 

' Your majesty is mistaken/ said Michel firmly, at the same 
time placing himself before the head of the winding-stair ; ' it is 
your majesty who is my prisoner ! ' 

i Passembleu ! this is beyond a joke ; make way, man, or my 
sword shall carve it for me/ and the king laid his hand on the hilt 
of his sword. 

Michel never replied ; and at the same instant the horn which 
had already so puzzled the king, was heard sounding wofully but 
clearly behind his back, on the summit of the tower of La Generale. 
The king turned sharply round, and saw behind him three men, 
while a fourth was leaping over the battlements. 

\ St Denis to the rescue ! ' cried Henry IV. ; but ere he could 
utter another word, he was caugiit hold of by the armed men, and 
held a prisoner. 

' Kespect the brave Henry of Navarre, king of France ! ' said 
Michel in a low tone. ' And you, your majesty, give your royal 
word not to seek escape by violence, and I will leave you your 
sword.' 

* Ventre St Gris, young man ! ' exclaimed the king*, over- 
whelmed with surprise and vexation as much as with fury at 
defeat, and well aware that, if Michel chose, he could now put 

20 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

him into the hands of the League, and thus buy their support — ' 1 
promise what you ask ; but pray tell me by what magic you have 
gained possession of this tower I . Surely you have not ascended 
from the sea 1 ? . 

5 We have, your majesty, by the same rope that enabled me to 
escape this evening, some four hours before ; but we have no time 
to explain anything now. Hark! the cannon proclaim the 
attack ; and as I mean my victory to be accomplished without 
bloodshed, we must act. Your majesty will be pleased to descend 
with me, and announce to the garrison, that fifty-seven of the 
bravest youths in St Malo hold the Generale ; that we thus have 
the powder-magazine in our hands ; that I offer to the garrison 
an honourable capitulation : but mark this — I have vowed to take 
the citadel or die. At three o'clock, if the gates are not opened, 
and the castle be not in my hands, I will set fire to the powder- 
magazine ! ' . 

The king heard his calm cold voice, he saw his iron face, he 
looked out upon the raging waves, and down the immense depths 
of the tower, more terrible from the profound darkness, and he 
believed, 

c I will bear your message, Sir Michel/ he said quietly ; ' but 
let us hasten.' There were now fifteen men on the summit of the 
tower, and others were rapidly ascending. 

' Follow me, Pepin/ continued Michel, speaking in loud com- 
manding tones ; ' we must hasten below. The castle is alarmed ; 
but as yet all attention is drawn from this side. As you go, tell 
me how you fared.' 

They descended rapidly the winding staircase, overcame the 
resistance of the small guard of four men in a lower chamber, and 
then barricading themselves in, awaited the progress of events, 
after sending* forth their great prisoner as bearer of their wishes 
and commands. 

The bold youth had then time to listen to Pepin's story. 
* * * * 

When Michel had half ascended the rope, leaving his com- 
panions behind, a low murmur from one or two attracted the 
attention of Pepin, who had been appointed lieutenant by the 
improvised dictator of the night. He asked in a whisper what 
was the matter ; and hearing that an idea had been set afloat that 
Michel was perhaps betraying them, burst forth, despite all his 
caution, in a whole vocabulary of invectives against the coward 
who dared suspect one greater than them all : he then imposed 
strict silence. It was a singular scene. Around, rocks and the 
sea — the first black, the second white — with wind howling, and 
waves roaring ; and above, sheer point blank upward, apparently 
reaching the skies, the vast tower. The men were pressed together 
closely, as the base of the castle afforded little space, and the rope- 
ladder even took up a portion. At first they could see Michel, 
but presently they lost sight of him, his figure mingling with the 

21 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

darkness, except when a flash of lightning revealed his presence ; 
but still the vibration of the rope told that he was ascending*, for 
Pepin and several others held it. Suddenly this ceased, and then 
an anxious moment of silence followed, all eyes being* cast upward 
toward the summit of the tower. 

c It ascends/ said Pepin then in a low whisper, that went round 
the whole body like an electric shock. Up it went, quickly at 
first, then slowly, and at last with so slow a motion as to alarm 
the daring* youths. 

6 Michel finds it too much for him, I fear/ said Pepin with a 
shudder. ' Two should have ascended.' 

i It g*oes up again ! ' exclaimed one with an exclamation of 
delight. 

From that moment its ascending motion never ceased. But 
when about twenty yards remained uncoiled, a man who stood on 
the very edge of the rock spoke in a startled whisper : 6 Michel is 
letting something down. 7 

All drew in their breath and waited ; but their suspense was not 
of long duration, as most of them had guessed Michel's ingenious 
device for aiding the carrying up of his ladder. Pepin lost not a 
moment : he cast loose the piece of iron as soon as he could lay 
hands on it, and set the rope adrift. It went up again with 
extreme rapidity. Then an anxious pause ensued, and the clock 
struck half-past one. All pressed forward ; but Pepin was 
thoughtful and wise. 

c Give him one minute's grace/ he said ; i he may not have 
been quite ready.' 

That minute decided the fate of the enterprise. Had Michel 
not had that one minute, his ladder would have fallen. As it 
was, it was but ill fastened. Then Pepin, having seen that his 
horn was safe, put his foot on the ladder, bidding twelve others 
follow, and they began their ascent. They were all bold and 
resolute youths ; but the peril was so extreme, the enterprise so 
hazardous — a chafed rope might cast all headlong into the sea or 
on the heads of their companions, a sentry might give the alarm 
— that not one but felt his heart beat quicker than it had ever 
done before. The ladder to the first company was comparatively 
easy of ascent, but to the last it would be terrible ; for then it 
would hang loosely, and shake at the will of the wind. On they 
went, then, these thirteen men, their musketoons on their backs, 
their swords between their teeth, their daggers ready at hand, and 
every man vowing a wax-candle to our Lady of St Malo, if ever 
he lived to enter a church again. They climbed with steady 
and measured steps — a proceeding when they were half-way 
up of considerable inconvenience, for as the thirteen left feet 
descended on thirteen ratlins on the left side, the ladder swung 
fearfully from side to side. 

1 Stop ! ' said Pepin suddenly to the next man ; and then as the 
word passed down, he bade them step one on one side, and one on 

22 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

the other. They found this remedy, in a great measure, the evil 
complained of. 

i Ave-Maria, God rest our souls ! ? exclaimed Pepin suddenly in 
a frantic tone, as he felt the ladder give way, and already saw 
himself, with his unfortunate companions, cast upon the heads of 
his friends helow. 

At the same instant a terrific jerk, sufficiently proclaiming that 
for a moment the danger was over, nearly cast them from their 
holding ; but then the rope remained steady again, and all 
breathed. There was not a face at that moment, could it have 
been seen, but was blanched with terror. Their hearts had almost 
ceased to beat, their wrists were wrenched, and their hands, 
though clutching the thick rope convulsively, seemed to be about 
to refuse their office. Then muttering a hurried prayer, the 
adventurers continued their ascent, and soon arrived at the 
summit, with the feeling of men snatched from certain death. 

Their first act was to examine the fastening of the ladder. A 
hastily tied knot had become unfastened, and the loosened cord 
had given the ladder two feet additional length. Nothing had 
saved them from destruction, but that the top ratlin of the ladder 
caught in two projecting stones of sufficient strength to bear 
them. They took care now to make the whole so firm, that those 
below had nothing to fear. 

When those who were anxiously awaiting their turn felt the 
ladder fall, for one second of time, loose in their hands, and become 
two feet longer, their first impulse was flight, and some dashed 
into the sea up to their necks, to save themselves from destruction ; 
but two held on, and the panic, which lasted little more than a 
second, being over, the whole again congregated fearfully at the 
foot of the tower in whispered conference. There were one or 
two brave men and true, who afterwards were not ashamed to 
own that they would, but for very terror of the others, have 
retreated. All understood that the ladder had partially given 
way, and even now it was possible every minute that the whole 
might come down about their ears. 

They listened, then, with deep anxiety, and kept their eyes fixed 
upwards. Then came the sound of the horn. It was now one 
general rush towards the ladder, and the inferior chiefs had some 
difficulty in preventing the whole from ascending at once. As it 
was, persuaded that those above would now see to their safety, 
twenty-three ventured to ascend. 

At half-past two, all were safely up, having performed one of 
the most daring feats on record, and in a cause far more justifiable 
than usual in those days, or even in any days of heroism, men 
being too apt to judge the manner of a deed less than its object. 
The pirates of the Gulf performed many acts almost as bold, 
but they, actuated by cupidity, are not to be compared with 
those ardent youths, whose sole object was the freedom of their 
native town. 

23 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 



VII. 

The Count de Fontaines had not retired to rest, nor had his 
daughter: they believed it to be their duty to await the king's 
descent from the tower; but they were up under the influence 
of very different feelings. The count believed the bluff monarch's 
fears chimerical. He had so long seen the Malouines quiet, that 
although he knew their aspirations after liberty and independence 
to be real and serious, yet he did not think them capable of 
asserting them by force of arms. But Isabella knew that some- 
thing was about to be done, and she therefore remained up, 
much against her father's will, as much to protect him in case of 
danger, as to await the hour which should signal the outbreak. 
Her position was difficult: her sympathies were with Michel. 
She understood that a free city, proud of its liberties, should wish 
to possess its own citadel, free from what it considered foreign 
troops : she comprehended its' desire for self taxation ; and able as 
it was to defend itself, she believed it entitled to continue as it had 
existed for ten centuries. But then her own father headed these 
foreign soldiers, and there might be danger to him. She hoped 
and believed there was none ; but she remained up to be ready 
in case of any serious events, resolved to die herself, if necessary, 
for him. 

The count then sat calmly in an arm-chair, softly cushioned, and 
covered with Genoa velvet ; while Isabella leaned her elbows on a 
table, to all appearance reading in a huge folio, but really wrapped 
in her own thoughts. Suddenly she heard the horn sounded from 
the summit of La Generale, and started to her feet, her volume 
falling- on the ground in her haste. 

1 What is it ? who calls ? ' exclaimed the count, rubbing his 
eyes. 

Isabella listened, but replied not," while the governor rose and 
hearkened, not yet sufficiently awake to understand what had 
occurred. Two minutes later, the roar of artillery, then the cries 
of sentries, the sound of trumpet and the beat of drums, told him 
that some event of alarming import was going on. 

' In the name of God, what means this? 7 said he, about to rush 
out. c Have the mad Leaguers learned the king's j>resence here, 
and come to break their heads against stone walls?' 

■ Stay, my dear father, stay,' cried Isabella passionately ; c there 
is danger without, and I should die if you go.' 

' Nay, child, I must go. What is it, Choppau ? ' he added, as a 
soldier entered in hot haste. 

c My lord, a revolt of the citizens. They fire cannon on the 
castle gates, and are at least ten thousand/ said the alarmed 
soldier. 

' Tush, tush ! ' exclaimed Henry entering*, ' talk not so big, 

24 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

my man. Go to the ramparts, and command that they cease all 
firing". Bid your officer ask ten minutes' truce, and say that 
Henry of Navarre will himself treat with them.' 

1 Sire ! ' cried the astonished count, while the soldier rushed out 
to obey his sovereign's command. 

c De Fontaines/ continued the king 1 calmly, e there is no time to 
he lost ; answer my questions quickly.' 

' I await your majesty's commands,' replied the other, bewildered 
beyond all possibility of description at what was going on around 
him. 

< How many men have you I ' 

f One hundred and thirty-six, sire.' 

' For how long* have you ammunition, supposing" the powder- 
magazine in their hands V 

1 For not one moment. It is all kept there, sire, for safety,' said 
De Fontaines, still more astounded. 

' How long* could you hold out, supposing* the Generale in the 
enemy's power, the powder-magazine captured, and fifty-seven 
devils of Malouines raging within I ' 

f Not HYe minutes, sire ; the men would fear' 

' The blowing up of the magazine ! ' 

c Your majesty ! I am lost in amazement ; explain yourself, 
sire,' continued the stupified soldier. 

\ De Fontaines, the Generale is in their hands ; the powder- 
magazine is theirs ; their chief threatens to blow it up if we do not 
surrender; and I am a prisoner on parole!' said the king, half 
amused at the other's alarm. 

De Fontaines sank on a chair, overwhelmed with confusion, 
shame, and astonishment. 

\ But— how — in — the — holy — name, did they get there V 

1 Your Malouines are good sailors — they climbed up the tower 
from the sea, deceiving the sentry, by name Henry the Fourth of 
France, and taking him prisoner,' said the king bitterly. 

6 The foul fiend,' exclaimed De Fontaines, * must be at the 
bottom of this.' 

< No ; but one as clever,' said the Bearnais, looking fixedly at 
Isabella, who was pale and red alternately, as various emotions 
affected her. 

1 Who, sire 1 ' 

! Master Secretary Michel, my wise governor ! ' replied the king 
sarcastically. 

' Sire,' said De Fontaines, rising with dignity, ' let me go seek 
death. I have deserved it.' 

1 My father ! your majesty, stop him ! he is desperate,' cried 
Isabella passionately. 

t Remain, De Fontaines. You are a brave soldier, but one 
deeper than you has overcome you. We must surrender. I can- 
not risk my life for one town, and my peculiar position with regard 
to the League commands me to be on friendly terms with St Malo, 

25 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

though defeated. They will take the castle, let them have it 
quietly/ and he took up a sheet of paper. c Send this safe-conduct 
to Michel, and let him come here and treat with us for the 
capitulation.' 

De Fontaines turned round to his daughter in despair. c Isabella, 
am I awake 1 Do I dream V 

i No time is to be lost. Lady Isabella, do you bear this to 
Master Secretary; give him our royal word that it shall be 
respected. 7 

Blushing, trembling, and yet proud of her mission, Isabella 
went forth. She found the court full of soldiers, some with 
torches, some with arms, while women and children sat sob- 
bing and screaming in corners. She passed through the whole 
party, all making way, and stood at the barred gate of the 
Generale. 

6 Who comes V said a stern voice, while the clank of arms was 
heard. 

c I bear a message to General Michel/ replied the young girl 
in a firm voice. 

* Ah ! Isabella, is that you ? Why here at this hour ? ? ex- 
claimed the clear voice of the young leader of the audacious band 
within* 

6 1 bear in my hand a safe-conduct for Michel de la Bardeliere, 
signed by the royal hand of Henry of Navarre, king of France, 
who demands to treat with General Michel for the capitulation of 
the fortress of St Malo. ? 

It was now first known that the Generale and the powder- 
magazine were in the hands of the enemy. The mass of soldiers 
dispersed to look after their private effects, and to prepare for a 
movement which all felt to be inevitable. Michel opened the door, 
and came forth boldly. His first step — Isabella had fled — was to 
seek the ramparts. All was still. The citizens had understood at 
once the meaning of a truce. 

f Citizens/ he exclaimed in a loud voice, i let not a gun be fired 
until firing recommences from within. The castle is ours, and 
before daylight the gates will be opened. 7 

A terrific shout arose of e Long live Michel ! Long live St Malo ! ? 
and then the young man directed his steps towards the apartment 
where Henry IV. and the governor awaited him. His face was 
pale, but his brow was firm, and his lips compressed. There was 
a flash of triumph in his eye, that shewed the joy he felt at his 
certain victory. When he entered the council-chamber, he found 
himself in presence of the king, the Count de Fontaines, and his 
daughter. 

The king rose, which shewed that he meant to treat with Michel 
as an equal for the moment, and seated himself only when the 
other was seated also. 

c Sir Michel/ said he graciously, for he could assume gentle- 
ness, though in reality furious at his defeat and the loss of such 

26 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

a town, ' I had hoped to have won over the Malouines to our 
royal selves. It seems they prefer independence. Far be it 
from me to wish to force them to comply. I prefer hoping* that 
time may bring" them to wiser councils. The castle, then, I will- 
ingly place in your hands, and only ask for my men an honourable 
capitulation. 7 

6 Such is my wish, sire — arms and -baggage, but the treasure 
and ammunition must be ours/ replied Michel gravely. e We have 
supported the garrison long enough, and as men who know the 
value of money, we consider what the treasury contains to be 
our due.' 

6 God have mercy on me ! 7 cried De Fontaines, turning very 
pale, for the king knew nothing of his funds. 

1 How much is there ? 7 inquired the king, almost inclined to 
smile. 

6 1 cannot say/ replied the count ; c ask my secretary. He knows 
far better than I do. 7 

{ Nothing of consequence/ said Michel quietly, f It is, how- 
ever, understood that this castle capitulates at daybreak ; that 
the garrison march out with arms and baggage; and that no 
hostilities take place in the interval between the contracting 
parties. 7 

The king acquiesced by a nod, Michel took up a sheet of paper, 
and in a bold clear hand noted down the particulars of the capitu- 
lation. He then handed it over to the king to sign. Henry IV. 
read it thrqugh without a word, but his quivering lip and half- 
closed eyes shewed the fury that filled his mind. It began : c Terms 
of the Capitulation of the Citadel of St Malo, agreed to between 
Henry IV., King of France and Navarre, and Michel Fortet de la 
Bardeliere, Provisional Dictator of the Republic of St Malo/ &c. 
The monarch, however, made no remark, signing one, and taking 
another signed by Michel. The count and his daughter figured 
as witnesses. Then Michel rose, bowed gallantly but rather 
haughtily, and prepared to leave the room. 

1 Stay/ said Henry IV., who saw all the value of attaching such 
a man personally to himself, feeling convinced, as he did, that St 
Malo must be his at last. * Michel de la Bardeliere, though much 
humiliated at my defeat, I can respect and esteem in you a loyal 
enemy. I wish, however, public circumstances apart, to be your 
friend, and therefore beg your acceptance of a gift. 7 

' Your majesty mistakes ; you have in your possession no gift 
that a Malouine can accept/ replied Michel rather haughtily. 

c Dictator of the Republic of St Malo/ continued the king almost 
good-humouredly, c I have. Count de Fontaines, the best way of 
sealing an alliance such as I wish to enter into with my dear 
friends the Malouines, is to marry the republic to one of mine. 
Michel loves your daughter, and I believe your daughter 7 -- — 

c Sire, I fall from the clouds — I cannot breathe— I am faint 
with emotion — it is not possible ! 7 

27 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

1 Sire/ said Michel, deeply moved, i your majesty has a noble 
way of forgiving* your enemies. In acting* as I have done, I have 
been solely actuated by a strong sense of duty. Be assured that 
my personal gratitude and friendship will be as enduring as 
my life. I own that I love the Lady Isabella, but I never 
hoped' 

i But is it possible that my daughter can have encouraged a 
young man employed in my house as a secretary V said the 
governor, perfectly aghast with horror. 

' My dear father/ replied Isabella, c one of whom you made a 
companion and a friend. You have never refused me anything 
yet, and you will not now.' 

The Count de Fontaines sank in a chair. The king tapped him 
gently on the shoulder. 

c Come, my old and faithful friend/ he said, ' to oblige your 
sovereign. You know I am no hard master.' 

\ Sire, I can refuse you nothing. But to give my daughter to 
one who has deceived me, who has degraded me, who has captured 
a castle under my command ' 

'De Fontaines, Henry the Fourth mounted guard, and was 
overcome by the audacious valour of this youth. None will dare 
blame you. It is I upon whom the disgrace will fall.' 

De Fontaines held out his hand to Michel, whom in reality he 
loved. The other pressed it, and hurried away ; his most ardent 
dreams realised beyond his brightest hope. 



VIII. 

The postern-gate opened to let Michel pass, after he had placed 
his own sentries over the whole castle, and then he went forth to 
announce to the citizens assembled without, that at daylight the 
castle that had so long frowned above their heads would be in 
their power. The young man was received with rapture. He 
immediately ordered a portion of the guard to remain under arms, 
sending the rest to take an hour's refreshment. He then asked 
Porcon and ten others of the notable citizens to accompany him to 
his house, where he found his mother and sister sitting up in a 
state of deep agitation and excitement. 

i My son/ cried the fond mother on seeing him enter, while his 
sister embraced him cordially, ' what is all this I hear ? Your 
name, unjustly execrated until now, has been this night lauded to 
the skies.' 

i My mother, the cause is simply this : my fellow-citizens hitherto 
have not known me ; they know me now.' 

1 1 never doubted you/ said his sister warmly. 

M knew you did not, Caterina/ said the brother gently. 
1 But I must talk with my friends ; I can but tell you now, 

28 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

that you will in a few days welcome a new sister. Isabella is 
mine ! 7 

This was said in a whisper, and then Michel seated himself at a 
table with his friends. Their discourse fell at once on the form of 
government which the free city of St Malo should assume. The 
young* man, true to his classical traditions, proposed that they 
should appoint a consul and a senate, the whole spiritually 
dependent on their bishop, but in reality free, the priest having 1 
no part in temporal affairs. Michel, however, indulged in no illu- 
sions. He was aware that, despite their victory, their position was 
difficult, and was perhaps only tenable as long* as civil wars 
continued to weaken France. But he chose that they should keep 
their entire independence as long as possible ; that if the day 
of servitude should ever come, they might fall nobly, securing 
to themselves immunities and privileges such as their position 
deserved. His friends adopted his ideas without hesitation, and 
then, having* partaken of refreshment, they departed to sum- 
mon the old members of the commonalty to confirm or reject 
their decision. Michel remained with his family, who now asked 
of him an explanation of what had passed. The young leader of 
the successful revolt gladly satisfied their curiosity, and had just 
concluded, amid exclamations of admiration and astonishment from 
both, when a servant entered. 

' What is it, Jean ? 7 asked Michel. 

c His reverence, Charles de Bourneuf, Bishop and Lord of St 
Malo, wishes to see you, 7 replied the youth. 

i Let him enter/ said Michel coldly. i Dear mother and sister, 
leave me alone awhile with him.' 

The two women acquiesced, and Michel remained alone. A 
moment later, the bishop entered. He was a middle-sized, slight- 
made man, with an expression of great cunning, and a counte- 
nance in general expressive of inordinate ambition and lust of 
power and wealth. 

' Hail, saviour of Gaul ! 7 cried he enthusiastically. c You have 
the reptile in your hands. The enemy of our church, the heretic 
usurper, is taken ; a power greater than any held by man for ages 
is yours. Use it well, Michel, and heaven and earth have no 
rewards great enough for you. 7 

1 Explain yourself, 7 said Michel quietly, at the same time offering 
the bishop a seat. 

'.Michel, are you not aware that Henry of Navarre is a heretic V 
began the bishop. 

' He was a heretic, but to gain a crown he has abjured, 7 replied 
Michel in his driest tones ; ' and although still suspected of being 
of the new religion, is at least in name a Roman Catholic, and 
servitor of his holiness the pope. 7 

' You say truly, Michel. He is still a heretic, and as such unfit 
to reign in France. On the other hand, there is the League of all 
true Catholics, which seeks to place on the throne a prince devoted 

29 



THE BOCK REPUBLIC. 

to the interests of the church. But Henry, supported by the 
devil and Calvin, is a great general, and we have not been able 
to overcome him. It has been left for you to perform this 
wondrous feat. He is your prisoner. Michel, the interests of 
our religion, the salvation of the monarchy, are in your hands. 
Declare for the League, give up the Bearnais as hostage to them, 
and the war is over ; peace will reign, the true interests of 
God will be triumphant, and your name will be everlastingly 
glorious. 7 

( Rather, then, let it be everlastingly infamous/ replied Michel 
firmly ; ' for I have signed a convention with Henry of Navarre 
and France; and mark me, my lord bishop, at dawn he rides 
forth freely.' 

c Never V said Charles furiously. * I am lord here, and I will 
not allow it. I am hereditary ruler in St Malo, and no treaty 
is valid without my signature. Never will I sign my name 
to a wicked and absurd capitulation that sets a heretic and a 
usurper free/ 

''Then, your reverence, the treaty must live without your 
signature. It is signed, and must be carried into effect. 7 

1 Who will dare to carry it out in defiance of me?' 

* I will, my lord bishop ! I braved last night and this morning 
greater dangers than any you can place in my way. I braved the 
ascent of the Generale by a single rope, the threatening sword of 
Henry the Fourth, and for two years the contempt of my fellow- 
citizens. Mark me : reading, philosophy, and reflection, have taught 
me that the difference between Romanism and Protestantism is a 
matter of feeling. There are abuses on both sides, but the balance 
is with us. I am not bigoted to the one or the other, and like not 
sudden changes ; but rather than submit to the rule of a priest, 
and change masters, I pledg'e myself in six months to make St 
Malo as strong a hold of the Reformation as La Rochelle. I respect 
the sincere piety of my countrymen, but, myself half a Huguenot, 
I should not grieve to see all my countrymen so. But I will not, 
in so grave a matter, take any initiative : they are good and happy. 
But mark me, Charles de Bourneuf, no tampering with our 
liberties. I am neither for king nor League — I am for the liber- 
ties of St Malo. But, in preference to the League, I would accept 
the king. 7 

'But you, a simple citizen, a merchant, a trader, how dare 
you resist your hereditary lord, the bishop of St Malo ? Michel, 
fear not only the excommunication of the church, but temporal 
punishment. 7 

At this instant a deputation of citizens entered, headed by 
Porcon. They bowed slightly to the bishop — profoundly to 
Michel. 

' Michel Fortet de la Bardeliere, 7 said Porcon in a voice of deep 
emotion, ' I have submitted your proposition to the citizens, and 
they have decided that St Malo is an independent commonwealth, 

30 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

governed by a consul, a senate of fifty, and a town-council of one 
hundred — all elected by the people. In token of their deep grati- 
tude to you, the saviour of your country, they declare unanimously 
that you are consul for four years. Long live the republic and its 
first consul ! ? 

Michel closed his eyes, to check the strong feelings that overcame 
him. The bishop advanced furiously towards the deputation. 

4 And my rights V he asked — with clenched fists, says the old 
chronicle. 

c Charles de Bourneuf/ said Michel firmly, c return to your 
palace, and leave it not without further orders. . We respect you 
in your spiritual capacity, but your known devotion to a foreigfi 
party causes the city to declare that you are for ever excluded 
from its temporal councils.' 

Michel had always objected to the interference of priests with 
government, but, in those days of spiritual bondage, he threw in 
the party allusion to soothe the bigoted. The priest went out mutter- 
ing words of revenge, and shut himself up in his palace, which he 
never left again for four years, except under good guard. Michel 
received on his shoulders with humility the furred cloak of ancient 
days worn by the lords of St Malo, allowed the tiara to be placed on 
his head and the sword by his side, and then marched forth to carry 
out the terms of the capitulation. As the sun rose he entered the 
castle, where, to his great surprise, he found a chapel fitted up for 
his marriage, which there and then was celebrated by the command 
of the king. Then trumpets sounding and colours flying, and all 
military honours rendered to them, the garrison, headed by the 
king and count, marched out, Michel accompanying them some 
distance. At last they parted, with many mutual good wishes, and 
the consul returned to his native city, to organise and consolidate 
his government. 

During four years Michel ruled as consul, beloyed by his country- 
men, whom he made rich, prosperous, and happy. His views were 
enlarged and comprehensive, and his first thought was to foster 
commerce — the right hand of civilisation. St Malo became wealthy 
to a proverb, enjoying as she did the greatest blessing of a state 
— peace. But at the end of four years, war ceased in France ; 
Henry IV. was universally recognised as king ; the pope allowed 
him to be a good Catholic ; and every town and city in the land 
did homage. He sent word to Michel that he could not resist the 
advice of his ministers, but must reduce St Malo to allegiance. 
Michel was too clear-sighted not to be aware that resistance was 
useless. He sent, however, a haughty message to the king, in the 
name of the senate, for he would not join even in the least appear- 
ance of submission. He spoke as Cromwell might have done to 
Louis XIV., and the terms offered by the senate were accepted. 
Henry IV. forbade any Protestant chapels to be built within 
three leagues ; the people were exempt from taxes for six years ; 
they chose their own guard j they elected their own magistrates; 

31 



THE ROCK REPUBLIC. 

had a prior and two consuls to try all causes: in fact, they 
simply owned themselves a city of France, and remained as they 
were. 

Though not in importance one tithe of what it was, St Malo is 
still an important place, and there are many even now who would 
gladly return to the good old times, under the rule of their first 
and last republican consul, Michel Fortet de la Bardeliere, whose 
descendants have uniformly served their city well, either as 
magistrates, merchants, or sailors, preserving religiously in their 
family the legend of the Eock Republic. 

The general reader, however, more readily connects the name 
with smuggling and contraband brandy, and is almost always 
ignorant of the daring' feats which has induced us to recall the 
name of Michel Fortet de la Bardeliere. 





^ i.WtavttwSi 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 



HE biography of Cervantes, author of Don 
Quixote, and of several other works once 
esteemed and popular, is less known, perhaps, 
than it ought to he to the people of this 
country. In his own day he met, properly 
speaking*, with no reward. Towards the close 
of his life, indeed, the Spaniards may be said to 
have exhibited some inclination, in a certain degree, 
to recognise his merits, though not by any means 
to do him justice ; but death interposed to deprive him 
the fruit, whatever it might have been, of their tardy 
)gnition, and from that time to the present the world 
■has been more disposed to enjoy his invention and his hu- 
mour than solicitous to acquaint itself with the sad story of his 
life. Through this it has happened that most of the materials 
which might have thrown a light on his career have been suffered 
No. 55. l 




MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

to perish. He stands, consequently? In nearly the same category 
with Shakspeare? whose life was never attempted to be written 
till it had become impossible to write it. Considerably more, 
however? is known of Cervantes? though of the years which he 
devoted to study and to the acquisition of experience we can be 
said to possess no knowledge whatever. 

Bon Quixote has been so completely naturalised in all parts of 
Europe? that people almost forget its author was a foreigner. He 
is the only Spanish writer? however? who has been so naturalised 
out of Spain. There was? nevertheless? a time when the literature 
of that country was the most popular in Christendom ; when to be 
ignorant of it? was almost considered to be a proof of boorish 
origin ; and when? consequently, its principal writers formed the 
delight of courts and all polite circles? and were everywhere 
regarded as models for imitation. Arms? in that case? did a service 
to letters. The pen followed in the wake of the sword? and the 
victories of Charles Y. and Philip II. gave a currency and 
influence to the Spanish language which? like our own in the 
present day? was looked upon as an imperial dialect. As the 
limits of the Spanish monarchy shrank? the literature of Spain 
likewise relinquished one by one its conquests over public taste, 
until it might at length be doubted whether the compositions of 
the Hindoos and Chinese did not exercise a greater sway over the 
populations of the west than Garcilaso? Boscan, Caldron? and Lope 
de Vega. 

That tliis is a fact our readers? we think? will concede to us. 
They will probably acknowledge with equal readiness? that c pity 
'tis 'tis true.' No doubt the genius of Spain gave birth to a gloomy 
phantom? which? almost constantly overshadowing the minds both 
of writers and people? scared them from the study of pure litera- 
ture? to wander and be lost in the mazes of casuistry? theology, 
pedantry? and superstition. But all the intellects of the country 
did not bow the knee to these grotesque idols. A certain number, 
of whom Cervantes was one? cultivated the study of genuine 
learning? which they adorned with a profusion of wit and fancy. 
Even now? therefore? it might be profitable to study the literature 
of Spain? which amidst vast mountains of rubbish contains many 
veins of pure gold. It is true there exists no second Bon Quixote 
in the Peninsula ; yet there are several productions which? though 
of inferior merit in comparison with this master-piece? may still be 
read with considerable pleasure by all who take delight in an 
original and exciting literature. 

Miguel de Cervantes, descended from an ancient and noble 
family? was born at Alcala de Henares? near Madrid? in the 
month of October 1547. Fortune? however? did not smile upon 
his birth. His father had already fallen into adverse circum- 
stances? so that it would appear to have been with much difficulty he 
provided for his education. How this was conducted in his early 
years we are not informed, for the fact that he amused himself 

2 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

with reading* the ballads in the streets ; and occasionally frequented 
the theatre to witness the performances of the celebrated Lopez de 
Rueda, affords ns no light. At a later period he was sent to 
Salamanca, where he studied grammar and general literature, 
under Juan Lopez de Hoyos. During" his stay in this city, which 
does not seem to have exceeded two years, he resided in the Calle 
de los Moros ; but respecting* the nature of his pursuits, we know 
little more than may be inferred from the character of his writings. 
It seems extremely probable that, instead of applying himself 
diligently to classical learning, he devoted much of his time to the 
reading of books of chivalry, upon which he afterwards revenged 
himself by the most merciless satire. He soon began to exhibit 
a leaning towards literature, though what was the character of 
his earliest compositions he has nowhere told us. In the year 
1568, when he was already twenty-one, he united with many 
friends and disciples of Juan Lopez de Hoyos in producing 
a miscellaneous volume of prose and verse. His contributions 
consisted of a sonnet, an elegy, and four redondillas, in which 
he celebrated the merits, graces, and sudden death of Dona 
Isabella de Yalois, to whose memory the whole volume was 
consecrated. 

These royal obsequies were celebrated at the end of October, at 
which time Julio Aquaviva, afterwards cardinal, arrived from the 
pope with orders to condole with Philip II. on the loss of his 
queen, as well as that of the Prince Don Carlos, who had died 
in prison in the preceding July. The Spanish monarch was pro- 
bably little grateful to his holiness for reminding him of what 
history must regard as a crime, since it can scarcely be doubted 
that his son fell a victim to his suspicious cruelty. The real 
object of the pope's nuncio was political, and connected with the 
affairs of northern Italy, where certain Roman ecclesiastics had 
taken great offence at some proceedings of the Spanish ministers. 
Philip II. brooked but ill the haughty message of the pope, and 
ordered his ambassador to quit the territories of Spain within 
sixty days. 

In the suite of this learned prelate, who delighted in the society 
of authors — in which he exhibited good taste— Cervantes is 
supposed to have quitted Madrid and proceeded to Rome, where 
he spent some time as a chamberlain, though in whose service is 
not stated. Shortly afterwards he entered the Spanish army as a 
common soldier, and travelled up and down the Italian peninsula, 
observing the manners of its inhabitants, and admiring the 
opulence and grandeur of its cities. The most formidable danger 
at that time threatened the Christian nations of the west. The 
Ottoman sultan, collecting together the strength of his nation, and 
appropriating its resources to the preparation of a vast armament, 
sailed down the Mediterranean, exciting everywhere the utmost 
terror and dismay. To protect Christendom from this implacable 
foe, the united fleets of Spain and Venice, under the command of 

3 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

Philip II. 7 s natural brother, Don Juan of Austria, encountered 
the Turkish power at Lepanto, in the entrance to the Corinthian 
Gulf. Victory declared in favour of the Christians, and the 
Moslem combatants, amazed and humiliated at their defeat, fled, 
panic-stricken, into the several ports and harbours of the Levant. 
In this famous battle, Cervantes lost the use of his left hand, or 
rather through the unskilful manner in which his wound was 
treated at Messina, whither a portion of the Spanish fleet retired 
after the victory. He was not, however, considered by this accident 
to have been completely disabled, since he continued some years 
longer in the service. At length he obtained leave to return to 
Spain, with the strongest letters of recommendation to the prin- 
cipal ministers and courtiers, who, it was expected, would obtain 
for him from their sovereign a suitable reward. While on this 
homeward voyage, it cannot be doubted that Cervantes entertained 
his imagination with brilliant pictures of success in gallantry and 
literature. He was then full of hope and vitality, and glowed 
with the consciousness of the laurels he had won by his own 
intrepidity in the battle of Lepanto. 

But the Mediterranean, in those days, was not to be navigated 
even by ships of war with impunity. From every harbour, bay, 
and creek on its southern shores, galleys, under the Ottoman flag', 
darted forth in quest of plunder and captives, which were then 
so numerous that they constituted a large class of the population 
on the Barbary coast. Fifteen thousand Christian slaves, who had 
been chained to the oar in the Turkish fleet, are said to have been 
liberated by the victory of Don Juan of Austria ; and the business 
of redeeming slaves was so extensive and important, as to give 
rise to the institution of a particular order of monks, called The 
Fathers of Bedemption, who stationed themselves in the various 
cities on the coast of Africa, where they negotiated for the ransom 
of Christian captives. 

The ship which bore Cervantes towards Spain, was attacked in 
the open sea by a squadron of Algerine pirates, which, after a 
long* and bloody conflict, succeeded in capturing it. All the 
persons on board were of course carried to Algiers, and sold for 
slaves. Travellers in the East at the present day, who observe the 
manners and treatment of the servile population in the Turkish 
empire, can draw from what they see no conclusions respecting* 
the manner in wdiich persons in the same condition were treated 
in the sixteenth century. Difference of colour and religion greatly 
aggravated the evils naturally inherent in. slavery. The masters 
knew that their slaves despised and detested them ; that they 
believed them to be condemned to eternal perdition; and that 
when they had no other consolation, they derived some semblance 
of it from this article of their creed. On the other hand, the 
Moslems of those days united the utmost ferocity of manners with 
the relentless cruelty inherent in fanaticism. Their muftis and 
ulemas re-echoed the anathemas of the Catholic priests ; and with 

4 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

an earnestness which certainly yielded in no respect to theirs, 
consigned the enemies of their faith to perdition in another world. 
The feeling's may, therefore, be somewhat understood with which 
Cervantes and his companions sailed in chains towards Algiers, 
where he arrived in the autumn of 1575. 

The piratical system, which had been established in those ages 
on the Barbary coast, may be regarded as one of the most curious 
phenomena of which any account is given in the history of modern 
times : out of what circumstances it arose, has never been exactly 
explained. When the Osmanlies were in the zenith of their power, 
their victorious fleets and armies swept along the whole face of the 
Mediterranean, and subdued nearly the entire extent of its shores. 
Greece became a province of the Turkish Empire ; attempts had 
been made at the reduction of Italy ; and Spain had only recently 
escaped from the Mohammedan yoke. On the south, from the 
Pillars of Hercules to the foot of Mount Taurus, the protracted 
coast of Africa and Asia had submitted to the sceptre of the sultan ; 
and Ottoman governors, under the name of Bey, Dey, or Prince, 
exercised the sovereignty in the name of the padishah or chief of 
El Islam. 

These military satraps, though acknowledging the authority of 
the Porte, and paying their tribute punctually, were, during* the 
continuance of their government, possessed of absolute and despotic 
power. The persons immediately surrounding- them were, like 
themselves, Turks ; but their subjects for the most part consisted 
of a strange mixed multitude — Moors, Arabs, Kabyles, with rene- 
gades from all nations, fierce, profligate, addicted to every species 
of atrocity by which money could be made. Living along a coast 
of difficult approach, with harbours scattered at great distances, 
they were tempted by circumstances to become wreckers, from 
which the step to piracy is short and easy. This manner of life they 
led long before the Turkish invasion ; and when they bowed their 
necks before the new conquerors from the East, who had compelled 
many prouder nations to succumb, they preserved their ancient 
habits, and soon discovered the means of reconciling them to their 
sceptred chiefs. 

The bey of Tunis, the dey of Algiers, the sultan of Fez, with 
the numerous inferior governors who held maritime commands in 
the western part of Morocco, made common cause with the lawless 
sailors who lived under their sway. The Sallee rovers have been 
rendered familiar to the public by De Foe in the early part of 
Robinson Crusoe ; and several historians of Spain and Italy, to- 
gether with a long list of travellers, have celebrated the exploits 
of those Moslem banditti, who brought disgrace on the Koran and 
the civil institutions of El Islam. From every port in the terri- 
tories of the Barbary states, galleys, stoutly built and well armed, 
put forth continually to lie in wait for the honest traders who 
sailed up and down the Mediterranean from England, France, 

or Spain, to or from Egypt, Svria, Greece, and the Archipelago. 

5 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

"When the pirates fell in with any of these, a fierce engagement 
often took place, in which victory decided now for one side, now 
for the other. When the Christians obtained the mastery, they 
were sometimes content with plundering and sinking the enemy's 
vessel. The pirates were more refined in their cruelty, for, under 
similar circumstances, they converted their captives into beasts of 
burden, sold them publicly in the markets like cattle, or held and 
tortured them in chains, to hasten the ransoming of them by their 
friends. 

Nor did these marauders confine their attacks to the merchants 
and mariners they encountered on the sea; frequently, when 
least expected, they made descents on the coasts of Sicily, 
sacked and burned the towns and villages, and carried away 
the inhabitants into servitude. For a long time, these calamities 
were confined to the southern parts of the island; but as 
experience rendered them bolder, the pirates penetrated north- 
wards, swept round Messina and Palermo, and landed occasionally 
in the Lepari Islands, where they have left to this day very 
striking mementos of their visits : for the towns and private 
dwellings are built at a distance from the sea on precipitous 
and almost inaccessible rocks, where nothing 1 was to be dreaded 
but surprise, since a very small number of armed men could 
defend the passages leading to the towns and castles against a 
whole army. 

Several Christian powers fitted out expeditions against Algiers, 
which was attacked by sea and land ; but for ages without success. 
Spain made herself prominent in these irregular wars, and 
Charles V., having become formidable by his wars to all the 
powers of Europe, landed an army on the coast of Barbary, which 
melted away like snow before the terrible cavalry of the desert. 
Among the most redoubtable enemies of these corsair states, was 
that famous order of martial monks denominated the Knights of 
St John of Jerusalem, who, having been dislodged from the 
island of Rhodes, fortified themselves on the impregnable rock of 
Malta. Thence, before luxury had rendered them effeminate, they 
sallied forth against the hereditary foes of Christendom, attacked 
and captured their galleys, plundered and devastated their coasts, 
carried away their wives and daughters, and enriched themselves 
and all their dependents at their expense. 

It may be worth while to glance at the sequel of the history of 
these bucaneering communities. As centuries rolled on, the light 
of the crescent began to pale. Sloth, ignorance, and barbarism 
seized upon the Oriental nations, while the states of the west 
sprang rapidly into opulence and power, especially upon the sea. 
Still, the existence of the pirates was winked at or tolerated ; and 
the time through which this feeble policy prevailed, illustrates 
most strikingly the disinclination of modern governments to put 
down a long-established nuisance. So long as the Moors respected 
the flags of great and formidable states, they were suffered to 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

plunder with impunity the subjects of inferior governments. 
Hardened by the forbearance of Christendom, they at length 
ventured to 'attack the ships of England, and speedily received a 
chastisement, which proved the precursor of their ruin. A British 
squadron was despatched to Algiers, and poured its thunders into 
the city, until every building in it rocked to its foundations. The 
sky was red with flame, balls and shells fell upon the devoted 
Moslems like hail; and though the government was suffered to 
subsist a little longer, it never recovered from that blow. Fourteen 
years afterwards, France completed what Great Britain had begun ; 
and at this moment, chasseurs de Vincennes, gendarmes, Parisian 
shopkeepers, Burgundian vine-dressers, and grisettes from all the 
cities of France, prance, and mince, and amble, where the bearded 
companions of Barbarossa divided the spoils of Europe by the light 
of their scimitars. 

Such were the people among whom the renowned author of 
Don Quixote was destined to wear away several years in servitude. 
The service he had seen under Don Juan of Austria, by no means 
tended to diminish the prejudice with which he naturally regarded 
the Mohammedans. He had fought against them — he had lost 
one of his hands in the conflict ; he had suffered hardship,, and toil ? 
and poverty, in the attempt to repress their inordinate ambition ; 
and now he beheld himself at their mercy — a slave, and in chains. 
Yet to their power and their cruelty he resolved to oppose an invin- 
cible will ; and his determination was supported and strengthened 
by the number of Christian captives who lamented his arrival, 
and by their sympathy and admiration augmented his heroic 
constancy. 

To this period of his life, his memory through the entire 
remainder of it continually returned. It was one succession of 
toil, apprehension, and solicitude. He beheld around him nume- 
rous individuals raised to distinction through the abandonment 
of their religion ; he witnessed perpetual attempts at escape, and 
knew that for this and other similar offences the punishment of 
impaling alive was frequently inflicted. He fell to the share of 
an Arnaout, whose name he has distorted into Dali Mami; and 
this piratical chief would at least appear to have rivalled any 
miscreant on the Barbary coast in cruelty and' ferocity. The 
letters of recommendation of Don Juan of Austria, and the Duke 
de Sesa, which might have been productive of good fortune in 
Spain, were now converted into so many sources of calamity, for 
Dali Mami, imagining from their contents that Cervantes was 
a nobleman of the higiiest rank and distinction, treated him 
with extreme severity, in the hope of thus aug^menting his 
desire of freedom, and the amount of his ransom. He was, 
accordingly, loaded with heavy irons, and kept in strict 
confinement. 

Nearly ail 'the events of this captivity are enveloped in obscurity. 
Things happen we know not how, and the most ingenious schemes 

7 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

are defeated by means of which we obtain imperfect glimpses.' 
For example, in spite of his chains and strict incarceration, we 
find Cervantes conferring* with numbers of his countrymen, and 
corrupting* a Moor, under whose guidance the whole party escapes 
from the city, and sets out towards Oran. The guide, we are 
told, was a habitual traitor, and on the very first day of their 
march deserted them. Abandoned by this miscreant, they were 
unable to prosecute their journey, and found themselves under 
the necessity of returning* to Algiers, to encounter additional 
harshness in their masters, and a greater weight of chains. In 
one of his plays, entitled the Trato de Argel, Cervantes is supposed 
to describe some of the incidents of his first attempt at escape from 
captivity ; but as he probably rather consulted his invention than 
his memory, it would hardly be safe to place any historical reliance 
on surmises of this kind. Shortly afterwards, several Spaniards, 
who had been his companions in misfortune, obtained their deliver- 
ance by ransom, and returned to their native country, when one of 
their number, Gabriel de Castaneda, represented to the father of 
Cervantes the sad condition of his sons in Algeria — for the two 
brothers were companions in misfortune. The father was evidently 
a man of a generous and affectionate disposition, and would appear 
to have been supported in his design by all the members of his 
family. He therefore sold the whole of his property, and even 
sacrificed the marriage-portions of his daughters, in order to redeem 
his two gallant sons from slavery. But the Moslem into whose 
hands Miguel had fallen, affected to believe him to be a noble of the 
first order, and rejected the proffered ransom with contempt. The 
master of his brother, Eodrigo, was less unreasonable. With the 
money forwarded by their father he therefore was liberated, and 
requested on his return home to send out an armed brigantine, to 
cruise along the coast of Algiers, a little to the east of the city, in 
order to co-operate with Cervantes in ' effecting* the deliverance of 
himself and his companions. 

It seems probable, that of the money placed in the hands of 
Cervantes for the ransom of himself and his brother, some con- 
siderable portion remained after the deliverance of the latter had 
been effected. This supposition is indeed necessary to account for 
the events which followed, since he had to put a complicated 
machinery in motion, and to engage several persons in his service, 
which he could not have done without gold. 

A Greek renegade possessed, three miles east of the city, a 
garden reaching on one side down to the beach. The gardener 
was a Christian slave, who, partly through the sympathy of his 
faith, partly through the influence of dollars, consented to hazard 
impalement in the service of the captive Spaniards. Even with his 
assistance, it is difficult to comprehend how the plan of the author 
of Don Quixote could have been carried into execution. There 
existed, it appears, a spacious cavern in the garden, the entrance 
to which was either unknown, or else the proprietor could not have 

8 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

been in the habit of frequenting* his own paradise. It may possibly 
have been one of those pieces of ground which , in the neigh- 
bourhood of Mohammedan cities, are laid out as market-gardens, 
and are rarely if ever visited by the gentlemen to whom they 
belong*. They are contented if the produce is sold and the 
money safely lodged in their pocket. There is also another class 
of proprietors among the Moslems, who cultivate gardens in the 
vicinity of great towns. These men do not covet the value of the 
fruit and vegetables that may be grown on their grounds, but are 
simply desirous of possessing* some wild and lonely retreat, to 
which they may betake themselves when oppressed by melancholy 
or misfortune, when their wives are cross or their friends 
unfaithful. With a bag* of tobacco, a pipe, and a slave, they 
repair in the dead of night to their secluded gardens, where, 
stretched on their prayer-carpets, they smoke and meditate till 
dawn, after which they retire to their houses, to sleep away the 
troublesome hours of day. 

For some such purpose, Dali Mami may have kept the garden 
referred to in the biography of Cervantes, though the existence of 
the cave must have been absolutely unknown to him, otherwise it 
would have been the very place he would have selected for his 
nocturnal fumigations. But whatever decisions we may come to 
on this point, we must admit the existence of the garden and of 
the cavern, in which a whole company of runaway captives con- 
cealed themselves from the month of February 1577 to the month 
of September in the same year, supported all the while by the 
liberality or ingenuity of the ingenious hidalgo, who afterwards 
celebrated the everlasting wallet of Sancho Panza, which always, 
like Fortunatus's purse, appeared to contain crust and onions with 
whatever else its owner desired to take out of it. 

When he considered his scheme matured, Cervantes himself 
escaped from his master, and joined his friends in the cave, where 
they suffered much from damp and cold, although they were cheered 
and enabled to endure by the hope of liberty. In the month of 
September, the brigantine he expected set sail from the coast of 
Valencia, and traversed the Mediterranean to Algiers. Here the 
captain cruised about as he was directed, and at length seized on 
what he considered a favourable opportunity to put off a well- 
manned boat towards the garden. 

But the hopes of the unfortunate men were doomed to be frus- 
trated. A galley filled with Moors happening just then to pass by, 
detected the movements of the Spaniards, several of whom, in the 
hurry and bustle of the moment, would appear to have been 
drowned. The project of Cervantes, however, was not by this 
means discovered ; but one of his own countrymen, called El 
Dorador, in whom he had until then confided, determined at once 
to abandon his honour and his religion. This miscreant proceeded 
to the palace of the dey, and disclosed to him the enterprises and 
hopes of Cervantes. In consequence of this information, a body 

, No. 55. 9 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

of soldiers, partly horse and partly foot, were sent to surprise the 
Christians in the cavern ; and making* their appearance suddenly 
in overwhelming force, were enabled to effect their purpose without 
difficulty or bloodshed. 

When Cervantes observed the Moslem soldiers putting* chains 
on his companions, he gallantly stood forward, and declared them 
to be innocent of all knowledge of his purpose, which he alone, 
he said, had contrived and sought to execute. This procured him 
the admiration, though not the sympathy of the dey, a cruel 
tyrant, who through avarice seized on all the prisoners, and 
appropriated them to himself. 

It would be tedious to prolong the narrative of Cervantes's 
captivity and attempts at escape. The greatest interest was felt 
in his fate, both among the reverend Fathers of Redemption in 
Algiers, and his own friends and relatives in Spain, by whose 
indefatigable exertions the sum necessary for his ransom was at 
length raised, and towards the end of the year 1580 he obtained 
his liberty, and set sail for Spain. 

Cervantes now experienced the emptiness and vanity of most of 
the hopes and expectations we form in this world. He had served 
his country gallantly as a soldier during many years ; he had shared 
in some of the greatest battles and victories of Christendom ; he 
had fallen by accident into captivity ; but while suffering the 
deepest misfortunes himself, had found the means and opportunity 
of conferring eternal obligations on some of the noblest families in 
Spain. It was not, therefore, without reason that, as he returned 
home, he amused himself with building magnificent castles in the 
air. He was thoroughly persuaded that the foremost among 
the grandees would hasten to welcome him to Madrid ; that 
the courtiers would prove his enthusiastic friends ; and that 
even the monarch himself would be eager to express to him, 
by honours and places of emolument, his appreciation of his high 
merits. 

Upon his return, he found Philip II. engaged in the conquest 
of Portugal, and at the same time oppressed by the influence of 
recent sickness and sorrow. Had it been otherwise with the 
monarch, Cervantes's reception would have been still the same. 
Philip was too selfish and gloomy a tyrant to interest himself in 
the fortunes of a brave man, who had nothing but his genius and 
his virtues to recommend him. Finding no other course open to 
him, Cervantes once more entered the army, and proceeded with 
his old regiment to the subjugation of the Portuguese. He 
again distinguished himself by land and sea; was present at 
the battle of Terceira, and excited in all who witnessed his 
career the strongest possible admiration of his enthusiasm and 
valour. 

But he was not a grandee ; and in the service of Spain, as well as 
of some other countries, he who has influence at court may easily 

eclipse the possessor of all the genius and virtues under heaven. 

10 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

The heroic captive and soldier by degrees despaired of rising to 
eminence through the profession of arms, and began to think of 
some other means by which to live comfortably in his own day, 
and to hand down his name with honour to posterity. 

In the midst of these meditations, Cervantes proceeded to 
Lisbon on private business, and resided there for some time. 
During this period, he became acquainted with a Portuguese lady, 
by whom he had a daughter. Why this connection did not end 
in marriage, is nowhere explained. She seems to have been a 
higiily respectable person, and to have made a deep and lasting 
impression on the mind of her lover. But there would appear 
to have existed some insurmountable obstacle to their union. 
Cervantes, therefore, returned to Spain, taking along with him his 
little daughter, Dona Isabella de Saavedra, who ever afterwards 
lived in his house. To despatch all his love-affairs at once, we 
may here state, that some years afterwards he married a Spanish 
lady, who shared with him all the calamity and poverty of his 
life. With this woman he resided successively at Esquivias and 
Talladolid. 

We now arrive at that period in the life of Cervantes in which 
he made a complete transition from one of the opposite poles of 
social existence to the other. Arms and letters were in old times 
commonly enougii associated, but in these latter ages of the world 
the pen and the sword, if not antagonistic, have generally eschewed 
all intimate association. Soldiers know little how to write ; while 
the servant of the Muses is generally eager to escape from the 
noise, frivolity, and vices of the camp. But Cervantes, throughout 
his active career, while following the standard of Don Juan of 
Austria, in the prisons of Algiers, and in the fascinating society of 
Lisbon, never wholly lost sight of his original love of literature ; 
for it will be remembered, that in the very opening scenes of his 
youth, the love of books absorbed him entirely. The cultivation 
of the intellect was carried on at that period in Spain after a very 
peculiar fashion. Barbarism, which still lingers in the Peninsula, 
was then irresistibly predominant ; but predominant in conjunction 
with energy, enterprise, and the effervescence of original thought. 
The great classic authors exercised a powerful influence, and pro- 
duced numerous imitations. The imitations, however, were not 
servile, but exhibited a freedom and a vivacity, united, no doubt, 
with extreme quaintness, which scarcely any literature of a later 
period has equalled. Cervantes, when he began to write, fell quite 
naturally into the taste of his age, which leaned towards pastoral 
poetry and romance; extravagant in conception, though often in 
execution extremely polished and refined. Most of these produc- 
tions passed out of sight with the age which produced them. 
They were calculated to amuse their contemporaries, but were too 
local, and bore too completely the stamp of a particular period, to 
suit the relish of succeeding generations. 

Unfortunately, no exact picture has been left us of the life led 

11 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

by the literary men of those days in Spain. Thomas Roscoe, in 
his Life of Cervantes, has done much towards throwing' light on 
the manners and studies of the period, and it is to be hoped he 
may yet be induced to go again over the ground, and finish 
what he has so ably commenced. Meanwhile it is certain, that 
few of those who then wrote were mere recluse students. They 
mingled freely with the world, whose character and manners they 
desired to describe ; they travelled ; they fought by sea and land ; 
they entered upon the career of political ambition ; they rivalled 
the doctors of theology in the church ; and when they sat down, 
therefore, to write, it was with minds filled by experience, and 
rendered capacious by an enlarged intercourse with mankind. 
Yet we must not exaggerate the advantages of such a state of 
things. What authors gained on one hand, they lost on the other. 
The art of writing is the most difficult which the intellect of man 
has ever attempted for the advantage of the human race. It asks 
the whole mind, the whole energy, and the entire love of those 
who cultivate it. 

' Desire of fame the noble mind doth raise, 
To scorn delights and live laborious days.' 

The furnishing of the mind with ideas is a more difficult 
process than we are apt to believe. It is not men of the world 
who best understand the world; but men of study, who calmly 
look down upon it from the lofty heights of speculation. The 
others are actors, these are spectators ; the others, consequently, 
are too busy to observe, while of the latter, observation is nearly 
the only business. Then comes the art itself — the translating of 
ideas into words, the grouping, the painting, the colouring of 
thought, with all those fascinating and marvellous contrivances 
by which the most fleeting of all essences is fixed, and invested 
with indestructible durability. 

The contemporaries of Cervantes were comparatively ignorant 
of this art of arts ; but he, through superior sagacity, gradually 
made the discovery, that an author is rendered immortal or other- 
wise by his style, which he fits like an impenetrable coat of armour 
about his ideas. He felt also, no doubt, how absurd it would be 
to put such a coat of mail on anything too weak to bear it, and 
laboured to develop his thoughts to the proportions which nature 
designed them to possess. 

In the year 1585, Cervantes married at Esquivias a lady whose 

name was much more considerable than her fortune ; but, with 

the generosity natural to all children of the Muses, he preferred 

beauty to gold, and elegance of manners to extent of domains. 

The lady rejoiced in the appellation of Dona Catalina de Palacios 

Salazar y Vozniediano, and was descended, we are told, from two 

distinguished families, which, like many others, had tried to live 

upon their distinction till very little else was left them. Her 

uncle, however, bestowed upon Catalina one-tenth of his property, 

which proves him not to have been rich, since her portion 
12 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

amounted to no more than 100 ducats. But Cervantes was opu- 
lent in his feeling's and affections. He loved the lady whom 
he had espoused, and with her, as with untold treasures, he 
removed to Madrid, where he doubted not he should speedily 
acquire both fame and riches. Experience by degrees had 
taught him that fame, even with men of the greatest merit, is 
often cf slow growth. He became acquainted with the literary 
celebrities of his day, who were in the praiseworthy habit of 
augmenting each other's reputation by friendly sonnets and 
redondillas. The effect of these was like the circle made by 
throwing a stone into water — at first small and insignificant, but 
spreading continually, till it at length embraced the whole 
kingdom of Spain. 

At that time it became the fashion in Italy to found academies 
for encouraging the cultivation of literature. Society had not then 
learned to dread the consequences of exciting the popular intellect. 
Nobles and grandees felt they derived honour from associating 
with the lords of thought, and were not ashamed to confess it, 
which proved them to be in possession of some elements at least of 
true greatness. But it may perhaps be doubted whether letters or 
the professors of them derived all the advantages which might 
have been made to flow from the institutions to which we have 
alluded. Still much good was certainly done, because a mental 
elegance was then infused into Italian society, which, after the 
lapse of 300 years, has not yet entirely disappeared. From Italy 
the passion for establishing academies passed into Spain, where an 
association of poets and learned men was formed in the latter 
portion of the sixteenth century, of which it is presumed Cervantes 
was a member. But as many heroes who flourished before 
Agamemnon were swallowed up remorselessly by oblivion, because 
they had no Homer to pour an immortal blaze of glory upon 
their names, so the deeds done, the suppers eaten, and the witty 
and elegant things uttered by the members of the Spanish 
academy, have perished utterly, because none undertook in time to 
chronicle them for the benefit of posterity. The authors of those 
days resembled in no respect the French writers of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, who have left us, embalmed in delightful 
memoirs, ten thousand things which would scarcely be thought 
worth remembering if they were not invested with brilliance by 
practised and polished pens. Literature in Spain, as in England, 
seems as a rule to have invariably led to poverty, and therefore 
the professors of it were little induced to dwell with anything like 
pleasure on the history of their own struggles. All their arts and 
energies were exhausted in the endeavour to live, especially when 
they happened, as they generally did, to depend for success on the 
caprices of the court. 

Cervantes may almost be said to have commenced his career as 
a regular author with the pastoral romance of Galatea, in which 
he is supposed to have celebrated his own love for the lady of the 

13 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

long 1 name, who is the heroine of the piece. Several of his 
literary friends figure among* the other characters, and doubtless 
he himself is the principal hero. But this is not at all a peculiar cir- 
cumstance. The Galatea, however, is so little known out of Spain, 
except by the pretty imitation of Florian, that it is quite unnecessary 
to enter into any detailed criticism of it. It may be more to the 
purpose to advert to his dramatic performances, which about this 
period of his life followed each other in rapid succession. Previous 
to his time, an extraordinary degree of barbarism prevailed upon 
the Spanish stage, which resembled neither that of the Greeks nor 
that of modern times. The pieces called eclogues, dialogues, or 
colloquies, were substituted for tragedies and comedies ; and little 
art; or ingenuity appears to have been displayed in the conduct of 
the story, for plot, properly speaking-, there was none. Still, the 
writers persisted in spinning" out these performances to the length 
of five acts, to their own great discomfort, and to the positive 
annoyance of the public. The author of Don Quixote, who makes 
so many just observations on the laws which should regulate the 
theatre, commenced his dramatic career in the character of a 
reformer. He determined to introduce greater vivacity and more 
poetic splendour into the plays of his age. In some respects, also, 
he may be said to have shewn superior regard for nature and 
probability; but while he was building* up with one hand, he was 
in some sense pulling' down with the other ; because, by entering 
upon the field of morals and allegory, he communicated an inex- 
pressibly insipid character to dramatic exhibitions. Authors some- 
times are tempted to write against the bent of their natural genius, 
in obedience to the spirit of the times. They think more of what 
will suit the public, than of what will best harmonise with their 
own genius. Cervantes is an illustration of this truth. The 
idiosyncrasies of his mind were essentially undramatic, as he ran 
naturally into description, not into impersonation. He loved 
detail, with minute and graphic touches, and was inclined to 
indulge in luxuriant developments, while the drama is concen- 
trated, condensed, and abounding- in rapid energy. Yet as the 
pieces of Cervantes were an improvement on those of his predeces- 
sors, he was for awhile popular, until his example awakened the 
slumbering fire in the breast of a greater poet — Lope de Vega — 
whose plays were afterwards so familiar to Dona Inez, that if any 
actor missed his part, she could have served him for the prompter's 
copy. Besides, to say the truth, Cervantes was not naturally a 
poet. His mind was observing, discursive, full of humour, and 
inclined to luxury of illustration, but he could not convert his 
observations into living principles ; his thoughts, when fused, did 
not run naturally into metaphors ; he was wanting in that flashing' 
power which, like lightning, pervades the whole world of ideas, 
and quickens them into life. Neither did he excel in the invention 
of dramatic characters or incidents. His persons of the drama 
declaim rather than act, and tell stories instead of giving efficacy 

14 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

to their own determinations and passions. When a true master of 
the stage, therefore, arose, Cervantes was almost ignonriniously 
banished ; and as authorship then, as now, seldom inclined or 
enabled men to practise economy with success, he soon found 
himself in debt and difficulties. 

Now came a proof of the flexibility and vigour of Cervantes's 
character. He really loved literature for its own sake, and had 
fortune vouchsafed him the slightest independence, would have 
pursued it cheerfully in a garret. But even the garret could not 
be secured to him by his devotion at the shrine of the Muses; and 
as he sincerely loved his wife, with all those whom nature had 
made dependent upon him, he resolved to make the bitterest of all 
sacrifices to one thinking as he thought and felt, and gave up 
literature for a petty employment in the provinces. Some endea- 
vours have been made to invest his new position with imaginary 
importance ; but it was very much to him what the Excise office 
was to Burns — a misery and a degradation — although he bore up 
with superior manliness and dignity against the torrent of reflec- 
tions which it must have inspired. The office he held it is some- 
what difficult to describe. Antoine de Guevara, a man who would 
now be utterly unknown but for his connection with Cervantes, 
having been appointed commissary-general, shewed his respect for 
his distinguished countryman in the best way he could, by appoint- 
ing him one of his four subordinates under the name of commis- 
sioner. The duties of the office consisted in receiving and laying 
out money in the purchase of stores and provisions for the fleets 
and armaments of the Indies. In the exercise of these functions, 
it was necessary for Cervantes to travel through Andalucia and 
the neighbouring provinces, which enabled him to observe fre- 
quently and at leisure the manners and customs of the inhabitants, 
which in those days were still more peculiar than they are now. 
During these excursions, he heard likewise innumerable anecdotes, 
stories, and legends, which he naturally treasured up in his capa- 
cious memory* witnessed striking traits of character, and pre- 
pared himself in other ways to produce, at a future period, the 
most original picture ever drawn of the idiosyncrasies of a semi- 
barbarous nation. Still, though he derived such advantages from 
his position, the position itself was by no means agreeable or 
flattering. It required unremitting' attention, and appears to have 
absorbed entirely both his time and energies. In such occupa- 
tions, opportunities may no doubt be found for amusement and 
personal enjoyment, for dissipation and frivolity, for cultivating 
ordinary friendships, and performing all the usual duties of 
domestic life. For the taste and intellect little can be done. 
There can be no continuous study, no profound meditation, no 
long solitary hours devoted to the mechanism of style, to the 
invention of plots, to the delineation of sentiments, or to the 
development of original theories. Accordingly, Cervantes was 
soon disgusted with his new manner of life, as may be certainly 

15 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

inferred from the project he formed about this time of emigrating* 
to the Indies. 

He drew up and presented to the king a memorial, stating* 
his services, and claiming' some promotion as a recompense. 
He ran over the whole story of his life, modestly recounted 
his achievements, described his sufferings and misfortunes, and 
petitioned to be allowed to devote the remainder of his days to the 
service of his country in some honourable post, which would 
enable him to live as became his birth and character. Kings, 
however, have something else to do than to think of rewarding 
merit or encouraging genius and virtue. Their patronage is 
usually exhausted upon those who do not need it — that is to say, 
rich nobles and powerful grandees, who crowd around them to 
intercept and turn to their own advantage the bounty which 
should be diffused among the deserving. Mandeville once wrote a 
book to prove that private vices are public benefits : he might 
have demonstrated with much greater certainty the fact, that 
the misfortunes of individuals often operate as blessings to the 
world. Many among the great founders of the English com- 
monwealth were prevented from emigrating to the new world 
only by the tyranny of the court, which thus kept at home its 
own scourges and destroyers. Burke was on the point of remov- 
ing to America just before the breaking forth of the war of inde- 
pendence ; in which case he might have figured among the revolu- 
tionary leaders of the new world, and descended to posterity with 
the reputation of a patriot. Had the king of Spain listened to the 
petition of Cervantes, mankind would, in all likelihood, have lost 
one of the most mirth-inspiring productions which genius and 
humour have bequeathed to our race. But we are not entirely 
indebted for this to the ingratitude of the king or his courtiers, 
since Cervantes himself is admitted by his most friendly biogra- 
phers to have been guilty of some imprudence, which on this 
occasion blasted his hopes. What the imprudence was, has 
nowhere, we believe, been stated ; but this is immaterial, since the 
consequence was the frustration of his plans. He remained, there- 
fore, in the service of the commissariat at Seville, and proceeded 
with his usual avocations — travelling', buying, selling, keeping 
accounts, and wearing away his life in a manner most unsuited to 
his abilities. 

About this time an event happened in Spain which strikingly 
characterises the manners and sentiments of the period. A saint 
of great reputation, living in a monastery at the town of Ubeda, 
was attacked by a contagious fever, of which, after a short illness, 
he died, and, like the rich man in the parable, was buried. In 
ordinary cases, his career would now have been supposed to be 
terminated. But with saints the case is quite different, as many 
of their most remarkable achievements are often performed after 
death. This happened to the saint in question, Juan de la Cruz. 
A noble lady at Madrid, who, with her brother, would appear to 

16 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

have been a great admirer of the holy man, made application to 
the vicar-general of the Carmelites for leave to disinter his body, 
and convey it to the great convent at Segovia, of which she was 
an enthusiastic patron. The vicar - g*eneral consented, and a 
messenger was despatched to Ubeda with the necessary in- 
structions, which he delivered to the abbot, who, expecting 
favours from court, immediately granted the desired permission. 
Understanding', however, the character of the monks of this 
establishment, and expecting a vigorous opposition from them, 
he stipulated with the alguazil that the disinterment should take 
place by night, when the brethren were all sound asleep. The 
saint had now been buried nine months, and therefore it was 
naturally expected that his body would have been found com- 
pletely decomposed. To the surprise, however, of these pious 
resurrection-men, they found it not only entire, but emitting a 
delicious fragrance, as if it had been composed of spices and 
myrrh. Terrified by this phenomenon, which they regarded as 
a signal from Heaven, they desisted from their enterprise; and 
having piled a quantity of chalk over the sacred remains, that they 
might be able to recognise them another time, they departed 
secretly, and returned to Madrid. 

But the piety of Doha Anna de Mercada was not to be satisfied 
with this abortive attempt. A second time she despatched the 
alguazil, who, experiencing the same good- will from the abbot, 
was on this occasion more fortunate. Juan de la Cruz was 
completely unearthed, and consigned, like a bale of valuable 
merchandise, to the alguaziFs portmanteau. There is something 
comic in this part of the aifair. Portmanteaus were obviously 
designed to carry cloaks, shirts, and trousers, and not the bodies 
of saints, whether fragrant or otherwise. But the alguazil had to 
perform the behests of a lady, whom to disobey would have been 
manifestly imprudent. The portmanteaus of those times, too, were 
certainly very different from such as we make use of in our 
degenerate days, into which it would be impossible to compress 
the dead body of a bishop or archdeacon; but Juan de la Cruz 
accommodated himself easily to the interior of the alguaziPs valise. 
Having secured the precious treasure, the man in authority and 
his myrmidons departed by night, in the hope of thus escaping 
unpleasant interruptions on the road. They reckoned, neverthe- 
less, without their host, for one supernatural messenger after 
another came from the region of saints, to question them respect- 
ing their proceedings. Still they would not relinquish their 
undertaking. The alguazil was a man of courage, who, despising 
monks, priests, and spectres, advanced steadily through the hours 
of darkness, and at length deposited his holy burden in the convent 
of Segovia. This adventure, it might have been hoped, would 
have ended here ; but as the rage for dead bodies then possessed 
the minds of the worthy Spaniards, a loud cry was raised by the 
pious citizens of Ubeda, which alarmed haif Europe. Those 

17 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

honest persons considered themselves robbed of the palladium 
of their city, and sent a deputation to his holiness at Rome, 
demanding* the restitution of the inestimable treasure. The pope, 
to whom this strange rhapsody was addressed, was that same 
Clement VIII. to whom Machiavelli dedicated his history of 
Florence, in which so many examples and illustrations of super- 
stition are related for the instruction of mankind. But popes, 
however philosophical may be their own belief, have generally 
had to do with an unreasoning* multitude. The question was not 
what Clement VIII. might himself think rational, but what was 
likely to prove agreeable to the people of Spain. His holiness, 
therefore, imitated the wisdom of Solomon, and decided that the 
saint's body should be cut into halves, and that, while the 
honest folks of Seg*ovia retained one moiety, the other should 
be sent back to solace the pious and enlightened corporation 
of Ubeda. 

Such an incident as this was nuts to a genius like that of 
Cervantes. Like Hamlet, he set it down on his tables, and when 
the proper time came, related it, invested with all its grotesque- 
ness, for the entertainment of Christendom. The reader who is 
familiar with the chronicle of Don Quixote? will remember the 
adventure of the Cuerpo Muerto in the first part of that mar- 
vellous narrative. We have given what may be called the 
historical original, which, although it abounds with the elements 
of comedy, requires the treatment of Cervantes to bring out its 
humour. 

The next public employment of Cervantes was that of collector 
of customs in the kingdom of Granada, in which he acquitted him- 
self with great industry and intelligence, moving about rapidly 
from place to place, sweeping into the government net both hard 
cash and bills, and giving* by his vigilance great satisfaction to the 
public authorities. But the details of this part of his life, though 
instructive perhaps, are not very interesting, so we abandon them 
to the care of the literary antiquaries of Spain. By way of intro- 
ducing some little variety into his monotonous existence, he 
determined to contend for the prize in a literary contest, which, 
in 1595, took place at Saragossa ; the occasion was the canonisation 
of St Jacinto, whom, at the request of the Dominicans, to whose 
order he had belonged, his holiness consented to enroll in the 
numerous army of saints. The piece to be produced was a 
redondilla in praise of the holy man ; and the prize, three silver 
spoons, two yards of dark taffeta, or a gold time-piece. Cervantes 
produced his poem, and recited it in the church of the Dominicans, 
who not only awarded him the prize, but crowned him with laurel, 
as the very Apollo of Aragon. The priests and monks of those 
days were often men of taste, who thought of something beyond 
their amas, their cellars, and their refectories. Yet their gene- 
rosity scarcely kept pace with their literary admiration. Cervantes, 
however, took possession of his two yards of taffeta, and, as proud 

18 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

as if he had gained the sovereignty of Sancho's island of 
Barataria, returned to Seville. 

It may appear to be a satire on friendship to maintain, that most 
men who are overtaken by calamity owe the circumstance, in part 
at least, to their friends. Sometimes they become security for 
them, and are left to pay instead of their principals ; sometimes 
they are made the victims of the indiscretion of those in whom 
they placed confidence ; and not unfrequently caprice and fickle- 
ness inflict on them the injuries which would appear to flow from 
malice alone. Through one of those whom he regarded as his 
friends, Cervantes fell into disgrace with the government, and lost 
his public employment ; but as he could not be said in any sense 
to have forfeited his integrity or his honour, he went on at Seville 
as the agent of private persons, and gained in this way a scanty 
and precarious livelihood. But it was not in his nature to confine 
his attention entirely to the breeding of ducats or maravedis ; he 
witnessed around him innumerable examples of folly, grotesque- 
ness, and extravagance, and indulged his inclination to convert 
them into subjects of satire. This, we may be sure, rendered him 
the terror of his contemporaries, who often took their revenge on 
the satirist by obstructing his advancement in life. And it is 
perfectly intelligible, that what amuses posterity should have 
disgusted the persons of his own time, who each expected to 
become in turn the butt of ridicule. Through the influence, 
probably, of some of those whom he had oifended, his pecuniary 
defalcations to the treasury were converted into a cause of imprison- 
ment, and he was thrown into the common jail at Seville till he 
should be able to discharge his debt. Here his ingenuity and 
eloquence served him in lieu of friends. He forwarded a memo- 
rial to the capital, representing all the hardships of his case, and 
shewing that it would be impossible for him to comply with the 
demands of government unless he were set at liberty, and allowed 
to make personal exertions to raise the sum required. This 
pleading was not in vain. He was released from prison, and 
repairing to Madrid, immediately used his utmost exertions to free 
himself from his obligations to the Exchequer. 

During the same year died Philip II. of Spain, after having 
embarrassed the finances of the kingdom, and, like Louis XIV. of 
France, after laying the foundations of innumerable calamities, 
troubles, and revolutions to come. The conquest of Portugal, the 
expedition against Terceira, the preparation for the grand Armada, 
and other wild undertakings, had exhausted the resources of the 
country. Yet now when death came to put an end to his ambitious 
extravagance, the inhabitants of Madrid forgot their own poverty 
in admiration of the splendour of his enterprises. They erected in 
one of the churches a grand catafalque, and nrepared to celebrate 
his obsequies with unusual splendour and magnificence. The 
various orders of priests and monks vied with each other in 
enthusiasm ; but soon gave indubitable proof that they were less 

19 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

actuated by admiration for the deceased monarch, than by the 
desire to distinguish and exalt themselves. The grand inquisitor, 
who acted on this occasion as president, having" covered his seat 
with a piece of black cloth, the priests were so enraged at what 
they regarded as his presumption, that they excommunicated both 
him and all the other Dominicans connected with the Inquisition. 
This took place in November. The combat raged with great fury ; 
accusations, denunciations, and recriminations, were lavished on 
both sides ; and the whole peace of Spain was in danger of being 
disturbed for a few square feet of black cloth. The important 
subject was referred to the king and his council, and after more 
than a month passed in ludicrous quarrels, carried on with fierce- 
ness and indecency, the ban of excommunication was removed from 
the inquisitors, and the funeral ceremonies recommenced on the 
30th and 31st of December. Even in his funeral Philip II. bore 
some resemblance to Louis XIV., the latter having been accom- 
panied to his grave by the hootings and insults of the people, the 
former by the brawls and mutual revilings of priests. A short 
time after, Cervantes, who had now returned to Seville, composed 
on this subject a comic sonnet, in the dialect of Andalucia, which 
he himself always reckoned among the most successful of his 
works. 

During his long residence at Seville, he became acquainted 
with the most distinguished authors and artists residing- in that 
city, though little or nothing remains to throw a light on their 
intercourse, or to mark the degree of friendship in which they 
stood to each other. Pacheco, who still enjoys a reputation in 
Spain, painted his portrait as part of a gallery of illustrious 
men ; but while time has delivered over the greater number 
of them to oblivion, it has only added fresh lustre to the name 
of Cervantes. 

Cervantes's next removal was to the province of La Mancha. 
When at the town of Argamasilla, he was thrown into prison, for 
what reason is altogether unknown. Some have, consequently, 
doubted the fact, thoug*h there is the strongest probability that the 
tradition is well founded. He must have lived, however, several 
years in that part of Spain before this misfortune came upon him, 
since he had not only studied accurately the topography of the 
province, but had likewise rendered himself familiar with the 
manners and customs of its inhabitants. But whether in prison 
or out of it, nothing could damp the ardour of his mind, or repress 
the overflowings of his genius. It may even be suspected, that in 
more ways than one his imprisonment was an advantage to him, 
because it inspired him with the desire to satirise those who had 
treated him so harshly. Probably the Manchegans were the most 
original population in Spain, and supplied the most curious traits 
of character. They were proud and ignorant, barbarous and 
superstitious, and among them had lingered the most palpable 
vestiges of the times of chivalry. Probably Cervantes was 

. 20 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

acquainted with some one particular hidalgo, who suggested the 
idea of Don Quixote — lean and romantic, eaten up with ancestral 
pride, but without ancestral traditions; humane in the extreme 
by nature, yet capable of cruel excesses in the practical develop- 
ment of his favourite theory. If we could dive into the 
minds of great authors, we should probably find that they have 
always in their wildest inventions drawn more or less from 
experience. Falstaff and the Tartuffe, Hudibras and Sir Charles 
Grandison, are all portraits, distorted or exaggerated, to suit 
the purposes of their painters ; and, in like manner, the knight 
of the rueful countenance had doubtless his prototype among the 
Manchegans. 

It has often been remarked, that men of genius produce with 
the greatest facility in their sixth decade. Possibly the mind may 
then be supposed to have reached its maturity, while in vigorous 
and robust men the physical constitution has lost little or nothing' 
of its original energy. In whatever way we may explain it, the 
fact, we believe, is indisputable. It was pre-eminently the case 
in the instance of Cervantes, who, having devoted his youth and 
early manhood to the writing of works very little if at all above 
mediocrity, suddenly, at the age of fifty-seven, dazzled Spain and 
the whole world by a creation of inimitable splendour and origi- 
nality. It is perfectly intelligible, that just and philosophical 
remarks on life should proceed from no one who has not enjoyed 
numerous opportunities of observing it. Time necessarily ripens 
the head, as the sun ripens fruit ; but while it gives maturity, it 
often, at the same time, excites indifference and inactivity. A man 
may become wise, but be deterred from giving utterance to his 
wisdom by indolence. He may be content with what Lord Bacon 
calls wisdom for a man's self, w T hich exhausts itself in securing 
personal enjoyment, and inspires carelessness of the opinions and 
interests of the world. In men of real genius the effect is very 
different. As the sun declines from the zenith, he spreads a mantle 
of many-coloured light over the world, which becomes more glow- 
ing and gorgeous as he approaches the horizon, behind which he 
often sets amid a display of indescribable glory. So it is with the 
mind. Through long years of toil and study, it invests itself 
with power, enlarging and beautifying the wings of its fancy, 
brightening and kindling* its imagination, and extending immensely 
the field of its ideas. When it desires to create, therefore, it does 
so in the plenitude of its capacity, and fulfils all the conditions 
required by a work of art. 

AYhen Don Quixote appeared, very few exhibited the power 
to appreciate its merits. The timid were afraid to express the 
admiration they felt ; the learned, accustomed to other forms of 
composition, conceived that everything must be trivial which 
abounded with mirth and amusement ; and they who possessed 
a mental sight sufficiently keen to discern the value of the 
romance, were too envious to point out to the public beauties 

21 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

which they secretly hoped it might be stupid enough to 
overlook. 

It would be out of place to enter here into a critical examination 
of Don Quixote ; but as it is unquestionably the greatest literary 
production of Spain, it may not be too much to take a brief view 
of its chief merits and defects. Never was there a more complete 
contrast imagined than that between the knight and his squire. 
The former is all disinterestedness, courtesy, urbanity, gentleness, 
and affection ; the latter is gross, selfish, intemperate, but never- 
theless has something about him which so thoroughly counter- 
balances his vices, that we love him notwithstanding. He exhibits 
occasionally traits of affection, first for his wife and children, then 
for his master. He is provident according* to the measure of his 
capacity, and looks with one eye to the interests of Don Quixote, 
while the other is steadily fixed on the great wealth and distinction 
he is to acquire by following him. Out of the humours and con- 
trarieties of these two individuals the whole zest of the composition 
is derived. Much has been said of the design of Cervantes to 
ridicule books of chivalry, and bring them into discredit. Our 
own opinion is, that he had no such intention • but that his object 
rather was to hit upon an excuse for talking perpetually on the 
subject and class of books of "which he was fondest. The satire is 
much too good-natured to have proceeded from a hostile pen. 
He was himself Don Quixote, and really loved the order of things 
which he seemed desirous of covering with ridicule. That he 
never read the books of chivalry with any intention of treating 
them with contempt, must be obvious to every one acquainted with 
his famous work. He had spent much time in familiarising him- 
self with their contents, he had taught himself to experience a 
deep interest in the adventures of knights-errant, and he mani- 
festly enjoyed with peculiar relish the history of their fantastic 
loves. At the same time, he could not but be aware that the 
taste of his contemporaries had already run into another channel ; 
and that although some retired gentlemen in remote parts of the 
country might still dream with pleasure of those days in which 
knights redressed the wrongs of distressed damsels, procured 
husbands for princesses, and restored monarchs to their thrones 
from which they had been expelled, and performed many other 
wonderful achievements, a great majority of the Spanish nation 
looked upon these things as quite obsolete, and could only be made 
to tolerate a picture of them when lavishly enriched with satire 
and ridicule. 

It may be said in defence of his predilection, that whatever we 
may fancy, the books of chivalry are by no means so contemptible 
as many persons who probably have never read them pretend. In 
Amadis de Gaul : for example, there are descriptions of scenery 
which, for richness and beauty, have never, we suspect, been 
surpassed. At this moment, a lovely valley adorned with magni- 
ficent castles, and watered by a broad shining river meandering 

22 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

through fresh pastures, and overshadowed here and there "by trees ? 
presents itself to our mind ? s 'eye. No landscape in Don Quixote, 
however carefully or elaborately drawn, is more beautiful — not 
even that in which Dorothea, disguised as a peasant-boy, makes 
her appearance to the curate and barber. The adventures, also, in 
which the knights engage, though completely out of harmony 
with the spirit of these times, are often such as would not have 
appeared absurd to our simple and ignorant ancestors. It may 
also be possible, that the very things upon which we now so 
much pride ourselves may come in process of time to be regarded 
with no less scorn than the actions of knights-errant. With change 
of times comes change of manners, and even when civilisation 
has done its best, and seemed to elevate the accidents of social 
life above vulgarity, it is not at all unlikely that beings of a 
higher order look upon our affairs and proceedings as intensely 
farcical. 

The Knight of La Mancha is one of a series of characters of 
extremely limited range which appear in fiction, and make it more 
like nature than the creations of nature herself : Falstaff, my Uncle 
Toby, Hamlet, and Sancho Panza. We never in the least doubt 
that these were real men, to whose authority in proverbs, humanity? 
or philosophy, we ought naturally to defer. Perhaps the 
Manchegan don is equal to any of his companions, both for 
originality and innate excellence. His heart is always overflow- 
ing with kindness, and rarely can stupidity, insolence, or even 
ingratitude sting him into indignation. His distinguishing attri- 
bute is forgiveness. He bears with injuries as if they were the 
natural fruits of life, which in some sort they are. It is only when 
his theory is attacked, when his beau-ideal is spoken of or treated 
contumeliously, that he forgets the equanimity of his Christian 
stoicism. With such a man one would willingly wander over half 
the world. He may be mad, he may at times be even dangerous? 
but the moment he comes within the range of our mental vision? 
we behold him through brilliant sunshine, and tremble at the bare 
idea of being compelled to part company with him. At times? 
indeed, he grows tedious, but it is only the tediousness of a 
friend whom we never love a bit the less on account of it. 
Nay, we hardly wish it were otherwise, because it constitutes 
his idiosyncrasy, making him what he is both to ourselves and 
others. 

Among the imperfections of the work, is the character of several 
of the stories introduced, which in some cases are uninteresting? 
in others, absurd — that, for example, which is called the Curious 
Impertinent, is a horrid tragedy? inconsistent in many of its 
incidents with nature, and conducted on principles which are 
totally at variance with those of true art. We regard it as a 
blot upon the work. Cervantes probably picked up the incidents 
in Italy, or borrowed them from some Italian collection of novels 
in which nature is constantly outraged. 

23 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

Several of the other stories, especially those laid in Africa, are 
at once inartificial and tedious. Nothing- is more difficult, even in 
these days of travelling* and experience, than for a writer to throw 
himself into that strange system of ideas which prevailed among 
the professors of El Islam, and to paint their idiosyncrasies, 
religions, and morals, their characters, motives, passions, and 
pursuits. Cervantes, as will have been seen from the early por- 
tion of this tract, had always been placed in the relation of an 
enemy to the Moslems. He hated them too much, properly, to 
comprehend their peculiarities. This is, at least, one cause of 
the insipidity of his Moorish tales, which, in their invention and 
development, scarcely seem to belong to the biographer of Don 
Quixote. To some extent the same objection may be made to the 
pastoral tale of Chrysostom, who dies for love, while his tormentor 
comes in some sort to triumph over his death, at his very grave. 
This is unnatural : women have been guilty of strange things, but 
rather for than against love, thougii Cervantes puts into her 
mouth the best defence that could be made for so outrageous a 
proceeding. 

One of the most beautiful parts of Don Quixote is that cycle, 
of events which is connected with the fair Dorothea : this is all 
nature and tenderness. She herself is one of the most exquisite 
creations in modern fiction, and literally sheds a bloom and a 
freshness over all the pages in which her name occurs. It is in 
connection with this truly fascinating damsel that the chivalry of 
La Mancha's knight shines forth most conspicuously. Parts of 
the narrative remind us strongly of the forest scenes in As You 
Like It, to which they are scarcely inferior. In some respects 
they are more ingenious and surprising, because of the wonderful 
contrasts supplied by the various characters — the don, the curate, 
Sancho Panza, and the barber. Nowhere does a priest appear to 
so much advantage in Spanish fiction. He really entertains an 
affection for his crazy neighbour, and, in company with the 
romantic barber, places himself in very disagreeable situations, 
to reclaim and bring him home. All these adventurous Manche- 
gans come together opportunely to save the lovely Dorothea, who 
wins every moment on the reader's feelings, until she comes in 
some sort to be the heroine of the whole work, and the first 
favourite with all its admirers. Still, when we leave the brown 
mountains, though the author be judicious in lingering there no 
longer, we feel as if awakened from a delightful dream, to turn to 
realities, agreeable enough in themselves, but far inferior in pomp, 
interest, and magnificence, to the wild creation from which we 
have emerged. 

One of the peculiarities of Cervantes, of which we find traces 
throughout Don Quixote, is the fancy he entertained that he was 
a poet. No mistake could have been greater : he wrote prose 
with exquisite art, and often introduced into it a rich colouring, 
which we are in the habit of denominating poetical, but it is 

24 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

merely rhetoric. The moment he attempts verse, his happy 
genius forsakes him. He is witty, ingenious, sometimes graphic, 
but never inspired. This we may concede without regret, because 
the other parts of the work are sufficient, without the verses, 
to delight us with the author's powers, and carry us away by 
his marvellous inventions. Still, several of the poetical pieces 
are, in themselves, pleasing enough, though they never could 
have earned for their author anything beyond a short-lived 
reputation. 

When the first part made its appearance, the Spanish public, as 
we have said, was little prepared to receive it with approbation. 
But the few acted as pioneers to the many, and its fame, which 
spread slowly at first, afterwards diffused itself with an accele- 
rated movement, until it became co-extensive with the area of the 
Peninsula. It then passed the sea, and in the course of a few 
years embraced the whole of Europe. Cervantes, even in his life- 
time, obtained the glory of having his work receive a royal appro- 
bation. As Philip III. was standing in a balcony of his palace 
at Madrid, viewing the country, he observed a student on the banks 
of the river Manzanares reading in a book, and from time to 
time breaking off, and beating his forehead with extraordinary 
tokens of pleasure and delight ; upon which the king ' remarked 
to those about him : ' That scholar is either mad or is reading 
Don Quixote.' The latter proved to be the case. Profit, however, 
did not keep pace with reputation ; Cervantes found himself a great 
man with very little means ; and in this world, though remote ages 
may idolise a name or abstract celebrity, it is generally found that 
contemporaries are swayed by more solid considerations. If they do 
not actually despise a poor author for his poverty — which is per- 
haps giving them too much credit for generosity — they certainly 
admire the rich man for his wealth, for the parties or dinners he 
can give, for the capaciousness of his house, for the magnificence 
of his furniture, for the extent, and beauty, and variety of his 
grounds. Cervantes, even after he had written Don Quixote, had 
none of these adventitious helps to reputation. He was still poor 
while kings, and courtiers, and archbishops, and abbots, regaled 
themselves, and shook their fat sides over his humour, his grotesque 
incidents, and his wit. It was of course observed that the work 
remained imperfect, and that the author evidently meditated 
taking out his hero on another series of adventures. The people, 
therefore, while enjoying* the present, looked forward with hope 
and expectation to the future. But as year after year passed away, 
and the second cycle of comic and extravagant effects did not make 
its appearance, the notion at length gained ground, that the author 
had exhausted himself in the first part, and that he was capable 
of producing nothing further. Under these circumstances, a man 
named Avellaneda undertook to complete the history of La Man- 
cha's renowned knight. As the original author was still living, 
this cannot be regarded otherwise than as an act of impertinent 

25 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

dishonesty, and the offence was much, enhanced by the insolent and 
ungrateful manner in which he spoke of his great original. In 
other respects, the book must have possessed considerable merit, 
since it amused the whole population of Spain and disquieted 
Cervantes for his own reputation. It, consequently, roused him to 
exertion, and compelled him to finish the second part, which he 
might otherwise never have completed. He affected to despise his 
rival, but his contempt was only simulated ; for although he may 
have been conscious of his own great superiority, he had not quite 
so much confidence in the superior discernment of his country- 
men, who, accustomed to works of a much coarser texture, were 
scarcely able to appreciate his original invention, his extraordinary 
character and ideas on a level as they were with the artificial 
platform on which his object was to place them. 

When the second part of Bon Quixote came before the world, 
it was universally felt that in nearly every respect it betrayed a 
great falling off. The fire of imagination which had sustained him 
throughout the earlier cycle of adventures now began to burn low ; 
there was less wit in the speeches, less vivacity in the conversations, 
less humour and pathos in the situations and incidents. He per- 
ceived that he had a great rival to contend with, and that rival 
was himself. He had, properly speaking, exhausted his originality 
in the first part, together with his store of situations, his brilliancy 
of wit, his freshness of imagery, his peculiar power of delineating 
singular characters, and placing them in singular circumstances. 
There is wit in the second part, but it is pale ; comedy, but it is 
forced; vivacity, but it is artificial. You discover nearly every- 
where comparative poverty of invention by a perpetual tendency 
to imitate himself. On the other hand, the literary merit is 
probably augmented — the style is more various, the diction more 
eloquent, and the words, through a more artistic arrangement, 
run more trippingly on the tongue. He had made progress, 
moreover, in didactic wisdom, and talks of life and its concerns as 
from a higher elevation. But Sancho Panza is no longer the 
same rich, racy, gluttonous dealer in proverbs he was in the first 
part. He has recourse, indeed, to the same great storehouse of 
popular sayings, and often with extraordinary effect ; but in many 
cases he becomes tiresome, while his master runs into extrava- 
gances not perfectly in harmony with the prevailing law of his 
mind at the time. 

The truth, perhaps, is, that the real quantity of comic materials 
possessed by one individual is always exceedingly limited, and 
that nothing so soon tires as comedy, when it exhibits the 
slightest show of repetition. If wit be not spontaneous, it is 
mechanical, and felt to be so. You perceive the process by which 
it is distilled, not so much from the brain as from the obvious 
resources of language. Don Quixote often amuses us by his 
small misfortunes. He is buffeted about like the Clown in the 
pantomime, and the more hard knocks he receives, the more 

26 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

people laugh. But pity, sometimes, with persons of sensibility, 
steps in to interfere with the merriment ; we feel the blows given 
as if they descended on our own shoulders, we regret his mistakes, 
we commiserate his sufferings, and at length make the discovery 
that we love the man. It is in this nice management that the 
great art of Cervantes consists. Had Don Quixote been simply 
ludicrous, we should have regarded him as a buffoon ; had he been 
a man of grief and sorrow only, we should have viewed him as 
a tragic hero ; but alternating, as he does, between folly and 
calamity, between fantastic tricks, which almost appear to justify 
the buffetings they bring' upon him, and those serious acci- 
dents which are every now and then his portion, we find a 
singular variety in his single character, and rank him among the 
most original creations of the human mind. Sancho, likewise, is 
a man full of moral contrasts. Sometimes we find him literally 
wallowing in the sty of Circe, worshipping his animal appetites, 
regarding life simply as an opportunity to eat and drink. Just as 
we are on the point of overwhelming him with contempt for this 
base epicureanism, our feelings are checked, or hurried into a totally 
different channel, by some striking proof of affection or fidelity 
to his master, Occasionally, too, he displays a shrewdness and 
sagacity, a fund of good sense, and even an aptitude for homely 
logic, which, though they astonish us, we never once suspect to be 
inconsistent with his stupidity in other respects. 

There is a beauty in Don Quixote which can scarcely be said to 
be found in any other work of fiction, at least in the same degree ; 
it abounds with pictures of rural nature of a novel and strange 
description, which are most artistically introduced in contrast with 
many of the characters. Few of the adventures take place in 
cities ; almost everything occurs at small roadside inns, or remote 
villages, or little country towns, or in the solitudes of the brown 
mountains, where, by a series of poetical pictures, Cervantes 
contrives to conjure up an image of the golden age. 

The history of this work since the author's death is tolerably 
well known to most persons. It has been translated into all the 
languages of Europe, and in every country the version into the 
vernacular is reckoned a portion of its popular literature. Here, 
in England, we have five or six translations, each remarkable 
for some peculiar excellence, yet none faithfully representing 
the original. But this is perhaps unavoidable. The Spanish 
idioms and proverbs, the provincialisms of Sancho, the chival- 
rous idiosyncrasies of the knight, the allusions to local insti- 
tutions, render it almost unintelligible to a foreigner without 
the aid of a commentary, or of a translation adapted to his 
knowledge. 

In spite of the success of his work, Cervantes did not the less 
remain a prey to poverty. The shadow of death too soon became 
visible in the distance, and he began, after the manner of literary 
men. to put his house in order, and prepare for his long journey. 

27 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

Such of his works as had remained unpublished, he finished and 
corrected for the press; and such as the booksellers would take, he 
laid before the world. The friends of old age, even of the old age 
of genius, are few, unless when wealth and rank and power 
accompany intellectual greatness. In the case of Cervantes, there 
w r as an additional cause of repulsion ; for though the world delights 
in satire, it dreads and therefore dislikes the satirist, though he 
could with Shakspeare have exclaimed : ' Our censure, like a wild 
goose, flies unclaimed of any man. 7 In conformity with the 
manners of his age, he was to the last compelled to have recourse 
to court patronage, and applied to the Conde de Lemos for his 
aid and protection against 

' The whips and scorns of the time, 
The insolence of office, and the spurns 
That patient merit of the unworthy takes.' 

The other works which he published towards the close of his 
life can hardly be said, in a literary sense, to have passed the 
Pyrenees or the sea. Neither is their merit such as to excite very 
great admiration. Still they are curious, and would well enough 
repay perusal. They produced him, however, but a* very slender 
reward, though it seems highly probable that, had his life been 
much more prolonged, fortune would have exhibited her usual 
caprice, and overwhelmed him with her favours. 

The way in which he supported illness as well as poverty, 
proves him to have been no mean proficient in philosophy, though 
he probably owed it more to his constitution than to study. Such, 
observes Mr Thomas Roscoe, was his situation on Holy Saturday, 
the 2d of April, that not being able to go out of his house, he 
made his profession of the venerable order of St Francis, whose 
habit he had taken in Alcala on the 2d of January 1613 ; but as 
the nature of his protracted complaint allowed him some interval 
of alleviation, he thought he might possibly recruit his strength 
by a change of air and diet, and in the next week of Easter he 
removed to the village of Esquivias, where the relations of his 
wife resided. But becoming worse in the course of a few days, 
and being desirous of dying under his own roof, he returned to 
Madrid, with two of his friends to attend and assist him on the 
way. On this journey, an incident occurred which he narrates in 
his prologue, and which affords us the only circumstantial account 
we possess of his illness. 

Cervantes and his friends had just quitted the village of Esqui- 
vias, and taken the road to Madrid, on his return home, when 
,they heard some one following them in haste, and calling on them, 
to stop. They accordingly drew in their reins, and in a few 
minutes there came up a student on a she-ass, complaining that 
they travelled so fast he could not keep up with them. ' We 
must lay the blame/ said one of them, 'on Senor Miguel de 
Cervantes, whose horse is rather mettlesome. 7 Scarcely had the 

28 






MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

student heard the name of Cervantes, of whom he was a passionate 
admirer, though he did not know him personally, than he threw 
himself from his ass, and embracing* Cervantes, and taking him 
by the hand, 'Ay, ay/ said he, 'this is the sound cripple, the 
renowned, the merry writer — in a word, the darling of the Muses.' 
Cervantes, who thus saw himself suddenly overwhelmed with 
praises, replied with his accustomed modesty and courtesy, and, 
embracing the scholar, desired him to mount his ass again, and 
accompany them, that they might enjoy his friendly conversation 
for the remaining part of the journey. The student complied, 
and there ensued between him and Cervantes a dialogue, which 
affords us some information on the subject of Cervantes's complaint, 
and which he himself relates in the following terms : c We drew 
in our reins/ he says, : and proceeded at a more moderate pace, 
during which the conversation turned on my complaint, and the 
good student decided my fate in a moment, saying : u This thirst 
of yours arises from a dropsy, which all the water of the ocean, if 
it were fresh, could never quench. Therefore, Sehor Cervantes," 
added the student, " you must totally abstain from drink, but do 
not neglect to eat heartily, and this regimen will effect your 
recovery without physic." " I have received the same advice from 
other people/" answered I ; " but I cannot help drinking, as if I 
had been born to do nothing else but drink. My life, indeed, is 
drawing to a close ; and I find by the daily journal of my pulse, 
that it will have finished its course by next Sunday at furthest ; 
and I also shall then have finished my career ; so that you are 
come just in time to make my acquaintance, though I shall have 
no opportunity of shewing how much obliged I am to you for 
your good-will." By this time we had reached the Toledo Bridge, 
by which I entered the city, while the good student passed over 
that of Segovia. 7 

The last act of Cervantes's life was to write a dedication to his 
patron, the Count of Lemos. He says : { There is an old ballad, 
which in its day was much in vogue, and it began thus : " And 
now with one foot in the stirrup," &c. I could wish this did not 
fall so pat to my epistle, for I can almost say in the same words : 

" And now with one foot in the stirrup, 
Setting out for the regions of death, 
To write this epistle I cheer up, 
And salute my lord with my last breath." 

* Yesterday they gave me the extreme unction, and to-day I 
write this. Time is short, pains increase, hopes diminish, and yet, 
for all this, I would live a little longer, methinks, not for the sake 
of living, but that I might kiss your excellency's feet; and it is 
not impossible but the pleasure of seeing your excellency safe and 
well in Spain might make me well too. But, if I am decreed to 
die, Heaven's will be done. Your excellency will at least give me 
leave to inform you of this my desire, and likewise that you had 
in me so zealous and well-affected a servant as was willing to go 

29 



MIGUEL BE CERVANTES. 

even beyond death to serve you, if it had been possible for his 
abilities to equal his sincerity. However, I prophetically rejoice 
at your excellency's arrival again in Spain ; my heart leaps with- 
in me to fancy you shewn to one another by the people, u There 
goes the Comte de Lemos ! " And it revives my spirits to see the 
accomplishment of those hopes which I have so long* conceived of 
your excellency's perfections. There are still remaining' in my 
soul certain glimmerings of " The Weeks of Garden," and of the 
famous Bernardo. If by good-luck, or rather by a miracle, 
Heaven spares my life, your excellency shall see them both, and 
with them the " second part " of Galatea, which I know your 
excellency would not be ill-pleased to see. And so I conclude with 
my ardent wishes that the Almighty will preserve your excellency. 
Your excellency's servant, Michael de Cervantes.* 



? 



The life of Cervantes, which had been nothing but a protracted 
series of trials and sufferings, now drew rapidly towards a close. 
He had foreseen his fate with only too much accuracy. The 
physicians were unable to arrest the progress of his disease ; his 
strength failed ; his spirits gave way ; and on Saturday, the 23d of 
April 1616 — the day on which Shakspeare died — the greatest orna- 
ment of Spanish literature took his leave of this world. Over the 
concluding scene of his unhappy but eventful career, history throws 
no light. The admiration excited by his genius drew no memoir 
writer to his bedside, his family were all incapable of chronicling 
his last words and giving them to fame. Affection paralysed 
some, ignorance or indifference others ; and for this reason it has 
happened, that the circumstances of his death, like those of his 
birth, are involved in extreme obscurity. The people of antiquity 
behaved very differently towards their great men; for among 
them numerous friends were generally found to attend the last 
moments of the dying, and receive the parting soul as it fluttered 
tremblingly from their lips. Something, perhaps, may be attri- 
buted to the different forms of belief which prevailed in the old 
world, and necessarily developed themselves in different practices ; 
but in addition to this, it is not to be denied that friendship is less 
common among modern than among ancient nations. Men now 
attend more to their interests and less to their affections ; though, 
if the experience of the soul up to its last moment of earthly 
existence could be made known, it might be found that we had 
made, after all, a very poor exchange. One tender word, one 
kind look, one affectionate pressure of the hand, might go further 
towards soothing the pangs of death, than the consciousness of 
having amassed heaps of treasure. Money is good, but friendship 
and affection are still better. Cervantes was unfortunate, poor, 
old, and afflicted with dropsy. The authors of Madrid, accord- 
ingly, kept aloof from him, to attend the levees of princes or 
grandees, and accumulate reminiscences of meanness and selfishness 
for their own last hours. 

30 



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES. 

It is stated that Cervantes, before his death, composed his will, 
though what he had to bequeath, except his poverty and his 
fame, we are nowhere informed. His executors were his wife 
Catalina, and the licentiate Francisco Nunez, whose acquaintance 
he had probably made from the accidental circumstance of livings 
in the same house with him. If Nunez had possessed literary 
abilities, he might have done the world good service by becoming, 
even at the eleventh hour, the Boswell of our ingenious hidalgo. 
All we know, however, is, that he desired his remains should 
be interred in a church belonging to the monks of the Holy 
Trinity, the habit of whose order he had himself put on, while his 
daughter Bona Isabella de Saavedra had taken the veil among 
the corresponding order of nuns. Here at length his ashes might 
be supposed to have been at rest. But vicissitude attended him 
even in the grave, for the church a few years afterwards was 
pulled down, and the bones of the old warrior of Lepanto 
had to be removed, with those of many other persons, to a new 
domicile. 

The Spanish nation affects still to be proud of Cervantes, but 
its admiration is probably confined to the students and professors 
of literature, who engaged, however humbly, in the same career, 
naturally experience some degree of sympathy for the most dis- 
tinguished of their countrymen. These have published new 
editions of Don Quixote, with engravings, notes, commentaries, 
and biographies, which the opulent have sometimes purchased, 
but more frequently left on the hands of their enterprising pub- 
lishers, to be transmitted, as slowly-consuming property, from 
generation to generation. When the man himself died, not an 
inscribed stone was placed over him to tell where he lay. His con- 
temporaries and immediate successors neglected the spot, and now 
it is unknown. All this while the princes and nobles of the land, 
though gorged with wealth, and spending daily whole fortunes 
on frivolous amusements, or amusements worse than frivolous, 
have never thought of appropriating one small sum to commemo- 
rate, by a suitable mausoleum, the genius and personal virtues of 
Cervantes. The heroes who fell before Troy have their mighty 
barrows, to which fame attaches indissolubly the names of those 
whom they cover; and the stranger and mariner as they glide 
along the Troad can recall their favourite chief, and point dis- 
tinctly to the spot, c where, far by the solitary shore, he sleeps.' 
But the princes of literature and lords of thought are frequently 
dismissed from the earth without the slightest token from their 
countrymen of gratitude or recognition. Yet i after life's fitful 
fever they sleep well/ whether with or without a monument, 
though mankind are obviously unmindful of their own interest 
when they consign their instructors to an obscure grave, and 
content themselves with pronouncing barren eulogiums on their 
writings. It is not even now too late for Spain to do herself 
justice by enlisting the arts in the service of literature. A statue 

31 



MIGUEL DE CEBVANTES. 



to Cervantes would be the most admired object in Madrid. 
Spaniards of taste would flock to behold it from all parts of the 
Peninsula ; and France, and Germany, and Great Britain, would 
send pilgrims to the old cradle of the Goths, to gaze upon the 
effigies of one of the greatest masters of humour. 

But the neglect of the Spaniards does not end here. Two 
portraits were taken of Cervantes during his lifetime, by known 
artists ; but both have been suffered to perish, so that, as Mr 
Roscoe observes, a copy only has survived to our days, which 
is undoubtedly of the reign of Philip IV., and is attributed by 
some to Alonso del Arco, while others pretend to trace in it the 
style of the schools of Yicencio Carducho, or of Eugenio Caxes. 
But whoever painted this picture, it is certain that it agrees 
in every respect with the portrait Cervantes drew of himself 
in the prologue to his novels, when he says : 'He whom you 
see here with a sharp countenance, chestnut hair, a smooth and 
cheerful forehead, lively eyes, a nose aquiline, though well- 
proportioned, a beard silver, though, some twenty years ago, 
it was yellow as gold, large mustaches, small mouth, teeth now 
few in number, as he has only six left, in height of a middle 
size, neither tall nor low, of a good complexion, rather fair 
than brown, somewhat heavy in the shoulders, and not very 
active : this, I say, is the portrait of the author of the Galatea., 
and Don Quixote de la Manclia, and of him that wrote the Viage 
al Pamaso in imitation of Cesar Caporali of Perugia, and 



numberless other works, known by the name of Miguel 
Cervantes Saavedra.' 



de 








SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 




OLTAIRE, in his essay on Epic Poetry, 
says : i There is no monument of antiquity in 
Italy that more deserves the attention of the 
traveller than the Jerusalem of Tasso. Time, which 
subverts the reputation of common performances, 
has rendered that of the Jerusalem more stable 
1 permanent : this poem is now sung* in many 
parts of Italy, as the Iliad was in Greece ; and 
Tasso, notwithstanding his defects, is placed without 
uple by the side of Homer and Virgil. 7 
That which constitutes the distinguishing character of the 
work now before us, is the blending of the romantic school of 
poetry with the classic. Each of the two great eras of European 
civilisation was preceded by a heroic age, which formed the 
ideal of succeeding times;' the achievements of Hercules and 
his compeers were the themes of the ancient Greek and Roman 
No. 56. i 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

poets 5 the chivalry of the middle ages supplied those of Western 
Europe after the revival of letters. The poems of the former 
which have been handed down to us as classic epics, are charac- 
terised by unity of design, all the parts of the narrative contributing 
to bring about one great event. But in the chivalrous fictions of 
the latter, this was not dreamed of. Strength of colouring in the 
portraits of the heroes, fertility in the invention of adventures to 
be ascribed to them, vivacity of narration, and truthfulness of 
detail as to the manners of the times referred to — these were the 
only requisites. A construction including necessary beginning, a 
decided progress, and an end which might be termed a satisfactory 
winding-up of the story, was never attempted. 

In the age of Tasso^ Italy was inundated with these wild and 
incoherent productions ; scarcely a single paladin of Charlemagne, 
or knight of King Arthur's round table, but had his poet in the 
sixteenth century. Tasso himself wrote in this style in his youth; 
and at seventeen years of age produced a poem called Rinaldo, 
which was received by his countrymen with passionate admiration. 
But in his maturer years he conceived the design of embodying 
the best of the fictions of chivalry in a classic form, taking the 
materials of his poem from the heroic ages of Christendom, but 
assimilating it in design and execution to the works of Homer and 
Virgil. The result was the production of an epic which exhibited 
the beauty arising from unity of design, combined with that kind 
of romance which fell in with the feelings, the recollections, and 
the prejudices of Europeans. It was first called Godfrey, after 
the hero to whom even Minaldo was to give place, but afterwards 
Gertisalemme Literata (Jerusalem Delivered). 

The poem comprises part of the history of the first Crusade — 
that is, the campaign of 1099 — so that it is brought within a space, 
which, according to history, does not exceed forty days. It is easy 
to see that Tasso was particularly happy in choosing a subject, than 
which we cannot imagine one more calculated to inspire a poet 
of his age. Here are the Saracens, believing it to be their vocation 
to subjugate the whole world to the religion of the Prophet ; and 
the Christians, persuaded that it is their duty to enfranchise the 
sacred spot where the mysteries of redemption had been accom- 
plished, and where all those great facts had taken place which 
constituted the foundations of their faith. 

The religion of that age, Christian as well as Mohammedan, 
was intimately connected with all that was chivalrous and war- 
like ; and nothing could be more poetical than the mixture of 
self-devoting piety with martial valour and confidence in Heaven, 
which formed the mediaeval hero. Divine assistance was in- 
voked before every conflict: if his own side prevailed, it was 
by the approving favour of the Eternal ; if it suffered loss, it 
was his chastening rod upon his people ; and if the enemy per- 
formed prodigies of valour, it was through the powerful alliance 
of evil spirits. God, therefore, and his angels, on the one side, 

2 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

devils and magicians on the other, constitute the supernatural 
machinery by which the course of events is directed. 

The tender passions are throughout combined with the main 
action. In this respect Tasso enjoyed a great advantage over 
Homer and Virgil. In a Greek or Roman hero, love must have 
been treated as weakness ; but in a Christian knight it was a 
flame ennobled by religion, giving elevation to the character, and 
prompting to the noblest deeds of valour. 

The materials of the poem thus considered, are the most 
suitable that can be imagined for a modern epic ; and the 
execution has rendered it not less interesting than elevated. It 
is admitted at the same time that Tasso could scarcely divest 
himself of his early habits of thought and feeling ; and that, in 
spite of the more correct notions which he had acquired of the true 
epopee, he has not always avoided the anomalies inseparable from 
the romances of chivalry. 



CANTO L 

I sing the illustrious chief, whose righteous hands 
Kedeemed the tomb of Christ from impious bands ; 
Who much in counsel, much in field sustained, 
Till just success his glorious labours gained. 
In vain did hell in hateful league combine 
With rebel man, to thwart the great design ; 
In vain the mingled force from Libya's coasts 
Joined their proud arms with Asia's warlike hosts ; 
High Heaven approved, and made the roving bands 
His standard seek, and wait his high commands. 

Five years had passed since the commencement of the war ; and 
the Christian forces having taken Nice, Antioch, and Tortosa, had 
rested for the winter months. It was now spring. The great 
Searcher of Hearts, having perceived in Godfrey of Boulogne the 
pious valour necessary to constitute him the leader of the host, 
despatched Gabriel to intimate to him his high behest. Gabriel 
prepares to obey : 

He clothes his heavenly form with ether light, 

And makes it visible to human sight ; 

In shape and limbs like one of earthly race, 

But brightly shining with celestial grace ; 

A youth he seemed, in manhood's ripening years, 

On the smooth cheek when first the down appears ; 

Refulgent rays his beauteous locks unfold ; 

White are his nimble wings, and edged with gold ; . . . . 

Thus stood the angelic power, prepared for flight, 

Then instant darted from the empyreal height. 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Finding* Godfrey at his morning devotions, the angelic mes- 
senger directed him to summon a council of the chiefs and stimu- 
late them to prosecute the war. In the council thus assembled, 
Peter the .Hermit proposed that Godfrey should be appointed 
general-in-chief of the whole force, which was unanimously 
approved of. 

His equals once, to his dominion yield, 
Supreme in council, and supreme in field. 

On the morrow, he marshalled the forces, and passed them in 
review before him. Here was Tancred, second only to Rinaldo in 
martial fame ; and spotless, unless his love for a fair infidel could 
be deemed a fault. It was said that in the last campaign, when 
the Persians fled before the Pranks, Tancred, exhausted with the 
fatigue of the pursuit, rested himself in a shady bower, beside a 
crystal stream ; when suddenly a Saracen female, clothed in 
dazzling armour, sought the same retreat. Her unlaced helmet 
displayed her surpassing beauty, and the Christian warrior 
kindled at the sight. 

wondrous force of love's resistless dart, 

That pierced at once and rooted in his heart ! 

Her helm she closed, prepared to assault the knight, 

But numbers, drawing nigh, constrained her flight ; 

The lofty virgin fled, but left behind 

Her lovely form deep imaged in his mind ; 

Still, in his thought, he views the conscious grove, 

Eternal fuel to the flames of love ! 

Another and another leader with his followers passed in review : 

But lo ! o'er these, o'er all the host confest, 
The young Binaldo towered above the rest : 
With martial grace his looks around he cast, 
And gazing crowds admired him as he passed. 
Mature beyond his years his virtues shoot, 
As mixed with blossoms grows the budding fruit. 
When clad in steel, he seems like Mars to move ; 
His face disclosed, he looks the god of Love ! 

On the following morning, the sound of drums and trumpets 
bade the warriors prepare for the march, and the banners unfurled 
displayed the sign of the cross. 

Meantime the sun, above th' horizon gains 

The rising circuit of th 5 ethereal plains : 

The polished steel reflects the dazzling light, 

And strikes with flashing rays the aching sight. 

Thick and more thick the sparkling gleams aspire, 

Till all the champaign seems to glow with fire ; 

While mingled clamours echo through the meads, 

The clash of arms, the neigh of trampling steeds I 
4 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

But Fame (the messenger alike of truth and falsehood) flies before 
them, and represents to the enemy the number, the prowess, and 
the unanimity of the Christian bands, so that Aladin, king of 
Jerusalem, revolves in his mind a thousand direful fancies. 

These thoughts inflamed and roused his native rage 
(Now chilled and tardy with the frost of age) : 
So turns in summer's heat the venomed snake, 
That slept the winter harmless in the brake ; 
So the tame lion, urged to wrath again, 
Eesumes his fury, and erects his mane. 

Laying* aside his first purpose of destroying* his own Christian 
subjects, he devastates the surrounding* country, levels the dwel- 
lings, poisons the streams, puts his capital in a state of defence, 
and summons his allies. 



CANTO II. 

In the midst of Aladin's warlike preparations, Ismeno the sorcerer 
appears, advises him that the arts of magic should also be used, and 
promises to bring the powers of darkness to his assistance. He 
induces Aladin to seize and place in his mosque a statue of the 
Virgin Mary from its subterranean temple, and he proposes by it 
to form a spell which shall secure the city. But during the night 
the stolen image disappears from the mosque ; the wrathful king- 
searches for it in every direction, and offers large rewards for 
its restoration ; the wily sorcerer also applies his arts to discover 
what has become of it, but in vain. Again Aladin determines to 
destroy his Christian subjects, that the thief may perish m the 
general slaughter, when, lo ! a beautiful maid of Christian race 
comes forward to save her people by accusing herself of the theft. 
Entering the presence of the king, she avers that she alone, 
without counsel or accomplice, had stolen and burned the sacred 
image, and Aladin immediately doomed her to the flames. 

Among those that crowded to the tragic scene was Olindo, who 
had long- but secretly loved the beautiful Sophronia. As soon as 
he recognised the victim, he sped through the crowd to the king, 
and assured him that it was not, indeed could not be a woman's 
feeble hands that performed the deed ; that it was himself had 
stolen the statue. The lovers continued contending for the right 
to suffer ; and the monarch, doubly provoked that his fury should 
be thus braved, ordered that both should obtain their desire. The 
youth was bound to the same stake, and the fire kindled around 
them, when thus the lover : 

* Are these the bands with which I hoped to join, 
In happier times, my future days to thine ? 
And are we doomed, alas ! this fire to prove, 
Instead of kindlv flames of mutual love ? 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Love promised gentler flames and softer ties, 
But cruel fate far other now supplies ! 
Too long from thee I mourned my life disjoined, 
And now in death a hapless meeting find. 
Yet I am blest, since thou the pains must bear, 
If not thy bed, at least thy pile to share.' 

As thus they stand, there advances on horseback one who at first 
appears to be a foreign knight, of fierce and noble aspect, but who 
proves to be the warrior-maid Clorinda, displaying on her helmet 
the well-known crest of a sculptured tigress. She spurs her steed 
to observe the victims, and learn the cause of their punishment. 

One mourned aloud, and one in silence stood ; 

The weaker sex the greater firmness shewed : 

Yet seemed Olindo like a man to moan 

"Who wept another's sufferings, not his own ; 

While silent she, and fixed on heaven her eyes, 

Already seemed to claim her kindred skies. 

Having learned their story, Clorinda stops the proceedings, and 
hastens to the king, to whom she offers her services against the 
Christian foe, and makes request for the pardon of the lovers. 
The monarch gladly accepts the one, and concedes the other. 

Meanwhile, Godfrey, with his army, reaches Emmaus, where 
he receives Alethes and Argantes, ambassadors from Egypt: 
Alethes, a man of ignoble birth, 

"Whose subtle genius every taste could meet- 
In fiction prompt, and skilful in deceit. 

And Argantes — 

Exalted 'mid the princes of the land, 
And first in rank of all the martial band : 
Impatient, sudden, and by fury steeled — 
In arms unconquered, matchless in the field ; 
Who owned no heaven above, but onward strode, 
His sword his law, his own right hand his god ! 

Alethes, in a flattering and artful harangue, endeavours to dis- 
suade Godfrey from attacking Jerusalem. His proposals are 
rejected; and Argantes demands that Godfrey shall instantly 
decide between peace and war. The Christian chiefs at once 
cried aloud for war. 

At this the pagan shook his vest afar — ■ 
c Then take defiance, death, and mortal war ! ' 
So fierce he spoke, he seemed to burst the gates 
Of Janus' temple, and disclose the fates : 
While from his mantle, which aside he threw, 
Insensate rage and horrid discord flew : 
Alecto's torch supplied her hellish flame, 
And from his eyes the flashing sparkles came. 

6 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Godfrey desires them to inform their master that he accepts the 
declaration of war; and then dismisses the ambassadors with 
costly gifts. 

CANTO III. 

Now from the golden east the zephyrs borne, 
Proclaimed with balmy gales th' approach of morn ; 
And fair Aurora decked her radiant head 
With roses cropt from Eden's flowery bed ; 

— when the Christian army marched towards Jerusalem 
With holy zeal their swelling hearts abound, 
And their winged footsteps scarcely print the ground. 
When now the sun ascends th' ethereal way. 
And strikes the dusty field with warmer ray. 
Behold Jerusalem in prospect lies I 
Behold Jerusalem salutes their eyes ! 
At once a thousand tongues repeat the name, 
And hail Jerusalem with loud acclaim. 

To sailors thus, who, wandering o'er the main, 
Have long explored some distant coast in vain, 
In seas unknown and foreign regions lost, 
By stormy winds and faithless billows tost, 
If the expected land at length looms out, 
They hail it from afar with joyous shout ; 
They point with rapture to the wished-for shore, 
And dream of perils, toils, and fears no more. 

At first, transported with the pleasing sight, 
Each Christian bosom glowed with full delight ; 
But deep contrition soon their joy suppressed, 
And holy sorrow saddened every breast : 
* * * * 

Each took th' example as their chieftains led, 
With naked feet the hallowed soil they tread : 
Each throws his martial ornaments aside, 
The crested helmets, with their plumy pride : 
To humble thoughts their lofty hearts they bend, 
And down their cheeks the pious tears descend. 

The Saracens receive from the watch-tower the alarm of the 
enemy's approach, and fly to arms; while Aladin, accompanied 
by Erminia, the orphan daughter of the sultan of Antioch, ascends 
a tower to see the armies defile. Clorinda makes the first sally, 
puts the Franks to the rout, and drives them to the hill. Tancred, 
at the signal of Godfrey, now advances, and Clorinda hastens to 
encounter him. In the first shock, her helmet is struck off with 
a blow of his spear : 

The thongs that held her helmet burst in twain ; 

Hurled from her head, it bounded on the plain ; 

7 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Loose In the wind her golden tresses flowed, 
And now a maid confessed to all she stood. 
Flashed her bright eyes with anger stern and wild, 
Beauteous in rage — -how beauteous had she smiled ! 

Tancred, on recognising her, no longer attempted to defend him- 
self; he turned to engage other foes ; but she persisted in fighting 
him. At length, resolved to make himself known, he challenged 
her to combat hand-to-hand, apart from the general strife. She 
consented, and had already aimed a stroke, when he bade her stay 
to fix the conditions : 

Awhile her lifted arm the virgin stayed, 

And thus the youth, by love emboldened, said : 

6 Ah ! since on terms of peace thou wilt not join, 

Transfix this heart, this heart no longer mine ; 

For thee with pleasure I resign my breath ; 

Receive my life, and triumph in my death. 

See, unresisting in thy sight I stand ; 

Then say what cause withholds thy lingering hand ? 

Or shall I from my breast the corselet tear, 

And to the stroke my naked bosom bare ? ' 

He would have said more, but they were separated by a band of 
routed Saracens, flying in confusion before the Christian squadrons. 
The action now became general — Argantes rallying the pagan 
forces, and Kinaldo and Tancred withstanding them. Dudon,1the 
leader of a body called the Adventurous Band, was slain ; but the 
Christian arms prevailed, and the Saracens, closely pressed, were 
compelled to retire into the city. 



CANTO IY. 

Meanwhile, the great enemy of God and man summons a 
council of the infernal powers, to deliberate on the best means of 
resisting the Christian arms. At the awful signal of the hoarse- 
sounding trumpet, the demons throng around their grisly king. 
Some of them wear human faces, with cloven feet, their hair 
composed of snakes, while behind appears a serpent's tail in im- 
mense volumes. A thousand Harpies and Centaurs, Gorgons 
and Sphinxes, appear, and the air is rent by barking Scyllas, 
hissing Pythons ; here glare the Hydras, and there the Chimeras 
are seen ejecting flame — 

And many more of mingled kind were seen, 
All monstrous forms unknown to mortal men. 

* * * * 

3 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Full in the midst imperial Pluto sate ; 

His arm sustained the massy sceptre's weight. 

Nor rock nor mountain lifts its head so high ; 

E'en towering Atlas that supports the sky, 

A hillock, if compared with him, appears, 

When his large front and ample horns he rears. 

A horrid majesty his looks expressed, 

"Which scattered terror o'er that throng unblest ; 

His sanguine eyes with baleful venom stare, 

And, like a comet, cast a dismal glare ; 

A length of beard, descending o'er his breast, 

In rugged curls conceals his hairy chest ; 

x\nd, like a whirlpool in the roaring flood, » 

Wide gapes his mouth obscene with clotted blood. 

As smoking fires from burning Etna rise, 

And steaming sulphur that infects the skies ; 

So from his throat the cloudy sparkles came 

With pestilential breath and ruddy flame ; 

And while he spoke, fierce Cerberus forebore 

His triple bark, and Hydra ceased to roar ; 

Cocytus stayed his course ; the abysses shook 

When from his lips these thundering accents broke. 

He addresses his compeers as Tartarean powers, worthy of a 
place above the sun 7 reminds them of the bliss they lost in heaven, 
and stimulates their resentment by representing" the Almighty as 
now ruling unopposed, and having* elected man, a creature of 
abject birth, to fill their places : nor this only, but having- sent his 
Son to oppress them yet more by entering their dark domain, 
conquering them a second time, and carrying off their lawful 
captives of human kind. He appeals to them if they will tamely 
submit to see him worshipped in every land, while Pluto sways 
an empty king'dom : — 

6 Ah ! no— our former courage still we boast ; 
That dauntless spirit which inspired our host, 
When, girt with flames and steel, in dire alarms 
We durst oppose the King of Heaven in arms ! 
'Tis true we lost the day (so fate ordained), 
But still the glory of the attempt remained : 
To him was given the conquest of the field ; 
To us, superior minds that scorned to yield.'* 

* The employment of Satanic agency in a heroic poem presented difficulties 
which can scarcely be appreciated by modern readers. The superstition of the 
middle ages had invested the devil with a mean and somewhat ludicrous character, 
and it is doubtful whether the arch-fiend had ever appeared in the loftiness neces- 
sary to the part which he has to sustain in this poem. Tasso has grappled with 
the difficulty, and endeavoured, though not with complete success, to desci'ibe him 
as an object of terror rather than disgust. It was reserved for Milton, following 
in the path thus opened, to complete the splendours of Satanic majesty, and 
improve on the model of gloomy eloquence which he found in Tasso. 

No. 56. 9 



V 

SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

He bids them hasten now to crush the rising* power of Chris- 
tendom : — 

' Let what I will be fate ; let some be slain, 
Some wander exiles from their social train ; 
Some, sunk the slaves of Love's lascivious will, 
An amorous eye adore or dimpled smile. 
Against its master turn the sabre fell, 
And teach discordant legions to rebel. 
Perish the camp, in final ruin lost, 
And perish all remembrance of the host ! ' 

The fiends, obedient to the voice of their chief, rushed from the 
shades of night, dispersed, and taking 1 their flight to different 
regions of the earth, air, and water, began to exercise against the 
Christian army all the power which they possessed over the 
elements, and which they had acquired over those human beings 
who devoted themselves to their worship. One of them instigated 
Hidraotes, the sultan of Damascus, to undertake the seduction of 
the Christian knights by the charms of Armida, his niece, who, 
besides being a sorceress, was the most beautiful woman of the 
East. Confident in her personal charms, she ventures alone into 
the Christian camp, and frames a story to excite compassion :— 

"Few days were past, when near the damsel drew 
To where the Christian tents appeared in view ; 
Her matchless charms the wondering bands surprise* 
Provoke their whispers, and attract their eyes. 
So mortals through the aerial fields afar 
Observe the blaze of some unusual star. 
Sudden they throng to view th' approaching dame, 
Eager to learn her message and her name ; 
Not Argos, Cyprus, or the Delian coast, 
Could e'er a form or mien so lovely boast. 
Now through her snowy veil, half hid from sight, 
Her golden locks diffuse a doubtful light ; 
And now unveiled in open view they flowed ; 
So Phoebus glimmers through a fleecy cloud, 
So from the cloud again redeems his ray, 
And sheds fresh glory on the face of day. 
In wavy ringlets falls her beauteous hair, 
That catch new graces from the sportive air ; 
Declined on earth, her modest look denies 
To shew the starry lustre of her eyes : 
O'er her fair face a rosy bloom is spread, 
And stains her ivory skin with lovely red ; 
Soft breathing sweets her opening lips disclose, 
The native odours of the budding rose ! 
Her bosom bare displays its snowy charms, 
Where Cupid frames and points his fiery arms : 
10 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Her smooth and swelling breasts are part revealed, 
And part beneath her envious vest concealed ; 
Her robes oppose the curious sight in vain, 
No robes opposed can amorous thoughts restrain : 
The gazer, fired with charms already shewn, 
Explores the wonders of the charms unknown, 
As through the limpid stream, or crystal bright, 
The rays of Phoebus dart their piercing light ; 
So through her vest can daring fancy glide, 
And view what maiden modesty would hide ; 
Thence paints a thousand loves and soft desires, 
And adds fresh fuel to the lover's fires ! 

Seeking 1 for some one to conduct her to Godfrey, she meets his 
brother Eustace, who is captivated with her beauty, and eager 
to serve her interests. Throwing herself at the feet of Godfrey, 
the artful beauty implores his protection. She represents herself 
as the rightful heir of the throne of Damascus, of which she has 
been deprived by her uncle, who has even attempted her life. 
She is a fugitive, an outlaw, an unprotected orphan; but if a 
small band of warriors be granted to protect her back to Damascus, 
her partisans there have promised to open one of the gates to her ; 
and having recqvered her crown, she will cheerfully transfer it to 
the Christian chief in gratitude for the preservation of her life. 
After a moment's hesitation, Godfrey courteously declines ; alleging 
that he cannot with propriety divert the army from the service of 
God for an object of mere human interest. But his companions, 
smitten by the beauty, and softened by the tears of Armida, , 
condemn his cold prudence, and his brother Eustace expostulates 
with warmth : — 

' Forbid it, Heaven, that ever France should hear, 
Or any land where courtesy is dear, 
That dangers or fatigues our souls dismayed, 
When such a cause as this required our aid. 
For me, with shame and grief I cast aside 
My glittering corselet and my helmet's pride ; 
No longer will I wield my trusty sword, 
No more shall arms to me delight afford : - 
Farewell, my steed ! our proud career is o'er : 
Knighthood, thy honours I usurp no more.' 

Godfrey relents, and allows that ten knights shall accompany 
Armida ; but she seizes the opportunity afforded by the impression 
she has made, and determines to prove the power of her beauty 
in the seduction of a much larger number : — ■ 

Each varied art to win the soul she tries — 
To this, to that, a different mien applies ; 
Now scarcely dares her modest eyes advance, 
And now she rolls them with a wanton glance. 

11 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

"These she repels, and those incites to love, 
As various passions various bosoms move. 

While thus she gives alternate frost and fires, 
And joy and grief, and hope and fear inspires, 
With cruel pleasure she their state surveys, 
Exulting in those ills her power could raise. 
Oft when some lover trembling woos the fair, 
She seems to listen with unconscious air ; 
Or, while a crimson blush her visage dyes, 
With coyness feigned, she downwards bends her eyes ; 
"While shame and wrath, with mingled grace, adorn 
Her glowing cheeks, like beams of early morn ! 
But when she sees a youth prepare to tell 
The secret thoughts that in his bosom dwell, 
Now sudden from his sight the damsel flies ; 
Now gives an audience to his plaints and sighs ! 
Thus holds from morn till eve his heart in play, 
Then slips, delusive, from his hope away ; 
And leaves him like a hunter in the chase 
When night conceals the quarry's devious trace ! 
With arms like these she made a thousand yield, 
A thousand chiefs unconquered in the field. 



CAN.TO V. 

Godfrey, perceiving* the necessity of appointing a leader of the 
Dand of adventurers in the place of Dudon, desires them to choose 
one from among* themselves, and Eustace points out Rinaldo as 
the most deserving* of this honour, being secretly desirous of 
preventing him from attending Armida. However, Gernando, 
son of the king of Norway, thinks he has a better right to it, and 
he spreads false accusations against Rinaldo, who hears his con- 
tumelious language, flies to vengeance, encounters, and slays him. 
Well knowing, however, that all dissensions among the Crusaders 
ought to have been suspended till the conclusion of the campaign, 
and anticipating that the result of a military trial might be the 
degradation of committal to a common prison, he forsook the 
camp, and bent his way to Egypt. 

Meanwhile, Armida pressed for her escort, and ten knights were 
chosen for her by lot. Many others, however, and first among 
them Eustace, secretly deserted the camp during the night, to 
follow her ; and — 

Though each concealing what his thoughts designed, 

Now jealous scowled his rivals there to find, 

She seemed on all a gracious eye to cast, 

And each new comer welcomed like the last. 
12 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

At this juncture, while the Christian army was enfeebled by the 
absence of so many warriors, it was thrown into alarm by the loss 
of its convoys with supplies, and by the reported approach of the 
Egyptian fleet. Godfrey endeavoured to calm the fears of his 
followers, yet scarcely succeeded in stifling 1 his own. 



CANTO VI. 

On the other side, Argantes, impatient of remaining inactive 
within the walls of Jerusalem, obtained leave from the king* to 
challenge the Franks to single combat ; but Clorinda was ordered 
secretly to follow him with a thousand men. Tancred was the 
Christian hero selected to meet the pagan, but ere he reached 
the spot appointed for the combat, he perceived Clorinda on a 
neighbouring height — 

The lover to a lifeless statue turns ; 
With cold he freezes, and with heat he burns : 
Fixed in a stupid gaze, unmoved he stands, 
And now no more the promised fight demands. 

While Tancred thus tarries, Otho speeds forward, takes his place, 
and refuses to resign it again ; Argantes, in his fury, transgresses 
the laws of knightly combat, and Otho is worsted. Tancred takes 
his place, and the combat is sustained with fearful violence till 
night falls, and the heralds proclaim a cessation of arms for six 
days. 

Both warriors had been severely wounded ; and it was the 
part of Erminia, who was skilled as other kings' daughters in the 
arts of healing, to administer relief to Argantes. But the maid 
had once been a prisoner to the Christians, and the courteous 
behaviour of Tancred on that occasion had won her heart : she 
could not bear to nurse his rival, and therefore devised a plan for 
transferring her cares to him she loved. Being the intimate friend 
of Clorinda, she obtained access to her chamber in her absence, 
arrayed herself in her martial vestments, and prepared to sally 
forth in her name. 

In stubborn steel her tender limbs she dressed, 
The massive helm her golden ringlets pressed : 
Next in her feeble hand she grasped the shield, 
A weight too mighty for her strength to wield. 
Thus dart a radiant light her maiden charms, 
In all the dire magnificence of arms ! 
Love present laughed, as when he viewed of old 
The female weeds Alcides' bulk infold. 
Heavy and slow, she moves along with pain ; 
And scarce her feet the unwonted load sustain ; 
The faithful damsel by her side attends, 
And with assisting arm her step befriends. 

13 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

But love her spirits and her hopes renews, 
And every trembling limb with strength indues, 
Till, having reached the squire, without delay 
They mount their ready steeds, and take their way. 

As soon as she had escaped from the city, she despatched her 
squire to inform Tancred that a friendly maiden, skilled in the art 
of healing", was waiting" to cast herself on his honour and afford 
him her assistance. Tancred joyfully consented to receive her; 
but while the messenger was on the way, she advanced to a rising- 
ground to survey the tents she so much longed after : 

Now was the night in starry lustre seen, 
And not a cloud obscured the blue serene : 
The rising moon her silver beams displayed, 
And decked with pearly dew the dusky glade. 
With anxious soul th' enamoured virgin strays 
From thought to thought, in love's perplexing maze ; 
And vents her tender plaints, and breathes her sighs 
To all the silent fields and conscious skies. 

Then, fondly gazing on the camp, she said : 
6 Ye Latin tents, by me with joy surveyed ! 
From you, methinks, the gales more gently blow, 
And seem already to relieve my wo ! 
So may kind Heaven afford a milder state 
To this unhappy life, the sport of fate ! 
From you alone I seek from care release, 
And hope to find 'mid martial terrors peace ! 
Receive me then ! — and may my wishes find 
That bliss which love has promised to my mind ; 
Which ev'n my worst of fortune could afford, 
When made the captive of my dearest lord ! 
I seek not now, inspired with fancies vain, 
By you my regal honours to regain : 
Ah no ! — Be this my happiness and pride, 
Within your shelter humbly to reside I ' 

As she thus stood pensive on the hill, the moon shone fuU 
upon her — 

Her snow-white vesture caught the silver beam ; 
Her polished arms returned a trembling gleam ; 
And on her lofty crest, the tigress raised, 
With all the terrors of Clorinda blazed. 

And now a band of Christian scouts, mistaking her for the 
Amazon, rushed forward to attack her; she fled, but was still 
pursued. The leader of the band, sending tidings of this adven- 
ture to the camp, Tancred concluded that Clorinda had thus 
exposed herself for him, and that she had been the author of the 

14 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

message he had received. Wounded though he was ; he followed 
in the pursuit to watch over her safety. 



CANTO VII. 

Erminia escaped into a wood, and after flying the whole day, 
reached a solitary and peaceful valley, where she was received by 
an aged shepherd, and resolved to wait for happier days. 

Tancred, guided by her track, had reached the wood, but 
missing his way, he relinquished the pursuit, and sought to return 
to the camp. Misled by the treachery of one whom he asked to 
direct him, he was made prisoner in the castle of Armida, the 
sorceress. And now the day arrived on which his combat with 
Argantes should have been renewed. Argantes is ready, and 
the herald summons his rival. But Tancred cannot be heard of ; 
and the venerable Raymond is chosen by lot to fill his place. 
Argantes bitterly taunts the Christian host for their tardiness; 
and Raymond devoutly invokes the aid of Him who gave victory 
to the youthful David over Goliath. Heaven heard, and sent 
a guardian angel to shield the Christian hero. Thus defended, 
he remains invincible; but an arrow is sped against him from 
the walls of the city ; and this breach of the laws of single combat 
leads to a general battle, the result of which is, that the Christians 
are obliged to retreat. 



CANTO VIII. 

A Danish knight arriving at the Christian camp, informed 
Godfrey that Sweno, the son of the king of Denmark, fired with 
ambition to rival the deeds of Rinaldo, had marched with his 
followers to the neighbourhood of Palestine, and was there sur- 
prised by the enemy, defeated, and slain; that he alone had 
escaped the general slaughter, and had brought Sweno's sword, 
which he was to present to Rinaldo. The most affectionate 
regrets for Rinaldo are awakened throughout the camp, and 
threaten a mutiny against Godfrey. Argillan, the leader of the 
tumult, is arrested and confined, and order restored by Godfrey's 
firmness. 



CANTO IX. 

Alecto, still burning with rancour against the Christian host, 
incites Solyman to fall on their camp by night. 

Now had the night her sable curtain spread, 
And o'er the earth unwholesome vapours shed ; 

15 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

The noisome ground no cooling moisture knew, 
But horrid drops of warm and sanguine dew : 
Monsters and prodigies in heaven were seen ; 
Dire spectres, shrieking, skimmed along the green : 
A deeper gloom exulting Pluto made, 
With added terrors from th' infernal shade. 

Through this fearful darkness Solyman with his Arab followers 
made their way to the Christian camp. But the sentinels 
give the alarm on his approach. ; the soldiers snatch their arms 
and fight ; a dreadful slaughter ensues on both sides. As the 
combat deepens, Argantes and Clorinda advance to join Solyman, 
and Godfrey awakes to lead the Christian forces. Clorinda strews 
the field with mangled heaps ; and the number of the combatants 
is continually swelled by the arrival of new companies. In the 
morning, Argillan rushes from prison to efface his former disgrace 
by deeds of glory in the field. 

As when, to battle bred, the courser, freed 
From plenteous stalls, regains the wonted mead, 
There unrestrained amid the herds he roves, 
Bathes in the stream, and wantons in the groves; 
His mane dishevelled o'er his shoulders spread, 
- He shakes his neck, and bears aloft his head : 
His nostrils flame, his horny hoofs resound, 
And his loud neighing fills the valleys round. 
So Argillan appears ! so fierce he shews, 
While in his look undaunted courage glows : 
He bounds with headlong speed the war to meet, 
And scarcely prints the dust beneath his feet. 

In the train of Solyman was a beautiful boy on a white courser, 
pleasing himself with the din of arms, and mingling in the shock. 
Argillan, advancing towards him, hewed him down without mercy, 
and Solyman came all too late to the rescue of his favourite. 

Untouched before, now melts the marble heart, 
And 'midst his wrath the gushing sorrows start. 
And weep'st thou, Solyman ! at pity's call, 
Who, tearless, saw thy mighty kingdom's fall ?• 

But now, his grief turning to fury and revenge, he falls upon 
Argillan, 

And cleaves his head beneath the weighty blow — 
A wound well worthy of so great a foe ! 

The Christian arms prevail ; and Aladin, perceiving this from 
his post of observation, orders a retreat to be sounded. Clorinda 
and Argantes obey with great reluctance ; while Solyman, severely 
wounded, hesitates whether to end his own life or quit the field to 
save it. 

' Fate has subdued,' at length the leader cried ; 
1 My shame shall swell the haughtv victor's pride : 

16 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Again th' insulting foe my flight shall view, 

Again my exile with their scorn pursue ; 

But soon behold me turn in arms again, 

To blast their peace, and shake their tottering reign. 

Nor yield I now— my rage shall burn the same ; 

Eternal wrongs, eternal vengeance claim : 

Still will I rise a more inveterate foe, 

And, dead, pursue them from the shades below ! ' 

CANTO X. 

As lie thus spoke, he perceived a vacant steed, which he gladly 
mounted; and bent his way towards Gaza, with the view of 
joining- the king- of Egypt. Presently, he was met by Ismeno, 
the magician, who dissuaded liim from this journey, healed his 
wounds, and conveyed him to Jerusalem in a chariot, which 
dissolved in air on their arrival. The magician prepared to 
conduct him through a subterranean passage into the city. 

Then thus the soldan : ' Through what darksome way 
Must here my steps by stealth inglorious stray ! 
O rather grant that, with this trusty blade, 
Through scattered foes a nobler path be made.' 

Ismeno overruled his objections, and led him by this cavern to the 
council-hall, where, himself under the concealment of a cloud, he 
witnessed the deliberations of Aladin and his advisers. When he 
heard them speak of himself as probably dead, or in prison, or 
exile, and advise Aladin to sue for peace, even while they spoke 
he shewed himself among them, and fiercely threatened the 
advocates of compromise. 

c First in one fold shall wolves and lambs remain, 
One nest the serpent and the dove contain, 
Ere with the Franks one land behold our state 
On any terms but everlasting hate ! ■ 

Meanwhile, Godfrey discovers that the squadron which turned 
the scale of victory was composed of the knights that had deserted 
to Armida, and learns from one of them how the deceitful beauty 
had endeavoured by magic arts to terrify them into serving against 
Godfrey : and then was sending them with Tancred prisoners to 
Damascus, when they were met and delivered by Kinaldo. 

When the knight ceased, Peter the Hermit turned his eyes 
devoutly towards heaven : 

And now his colour changed ; a nobler grace 
Shone in his mien, and kindled in his face ; 
Full of the Deity, his raptured mind 
With angels seemed in hallowed converse joined. 

Under this inspiration, he announced that Binaldo still lived ; and 
prophesied of his future glory and that of his posterity. 

17 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 



CANTO XL 

The preparations for the assault of the city being" now nearly- 
completed, the Christian host advanced towards the Mount of 
Olives in religious procession, with the voice of holy hymns, 
instead of the clang of arms or blast of trumpet. 

Meantime in wonder fixed, the pagan band 

All hushed and silent on the ramparts stand ; 

Struck with their solemn pace, their humble tone, 

The pomp unusual, and the rites unknown. 

But when their wonder ceased, the ungodly crew 

From impious tongues blaspheming curses threw ; 

With barbarous shouts they shake the bulwarks round ; 

The hills and valleys to the noise resound. 

But not their course the Christian powers refrain, 

Nor cease their ritual or melodious strain ; 

Fearless they march, nor heed the clamours more 

Than cries of birds loquacious on the shore. 

The next morning, a general assault was given, in which 
Godfrey was wounded, and numbers were slain on both sides. 
A breach was made in the walls, and the conflict continued 
all day — • 

But night, to check their rage, her veil displayed, 
And wrapped the warring world in peaceful shade. 



CAJTIO XII. 

During the night, Clorinda sought Argantes, and opened her 
mind to him : 

6 Long has my soul unusual ardour proved, 

And various thoughts this restless bosom moved ; 

I know not whether God the attempt inspires, 

Or man can form a god of his desires. 

See ! from yon vale the Christians' glimmering light, 

My mind impels me, this auspicious night, 

To burn their tower : at least the deed be tried, 

And for the event let Heaven alone provide.' 

The wondering chief caught the flame, and desired not to be left 
behind : 

* No ; if in arms I ever graced thy side, 
Still let me here thy doubtful chance divide ; 
I, too, can boast a heart despising death, 
That prizes honour, cheaply bought with breath. 5 

18 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

In vain the Amazon would have dissuaded him ; and it was agreed 
between them, and sanctioned by Aladin, that they should go 
together, while Ismeno undertook to frame such mixtures as 
should produce a sudden and rapid conflagration. Arsetes, an 
aged eunuch, who has attended Clorinda from infancy, implores 
her to desist ; and, when no tears or entreaties will avail, he thus 
reveals to her a history as yet concealed : — 

' In Ethiopia there once reigned, perhaps still reigns, a Christian 
king ; and I, a Mohammedan, was one of the attendants of his 
beautiful but swarthy queen. In her room was a sacred picture of 
a beautiful maiden, white as snow, and a dragon, pierced with the 
javelin of her heroic deliverer. Here the queen was wont to address 
her vows and prayers to Heaven. When thou wast born, the 
fairness of thy skin alarmed the virtuous matron, lest jealous fears 
should be excited in her husband's mind ; she therefore consigned 
thee unbaptised to my care, and displayed as her own an infant of 
her own colour. With many a tender kiss, and streaming tear, 
and heavy sigh, she bade thee farewell. 

At length, with lifted eyes — " O God," she cried, 
" By whom the secrets of my breast are tried, 
If still my thoughts have raidefiled remained, 
And still my heart its constancy maintained 
(Not for myself I ask thy pitying grace — 
A thousand sins, alas ! my soul deface ! ), 
Oh, keep this harmless babe, to whom, distressed, 
A mother thus denies her kindly breast ; 
Give her from me her spotless life to frame, 
But copy in her fate some happier name ! " 

With tears I bore thee away, and wandered in a thick and lonely 
forest, when, lo! an enraged tigress drew near, and, wild with 
terror, I climbed a tree, and left thee on the ground. The furious 
animal became softened as she gazed upon thee ; she licked thy 
infant limbs, and offered thee her milk. Willingly didst thou thus 
appease thy hunger, and the creature departed. Hastening down 
from the tree, I resumed my charge and my journey, till I found a 
village, where I nursed thee in secret for sixteen months, and then 
I bore thee with me to Egypt, my native country. Then I saw 
in a vision a warrior with a naked sword, reminding me of the 
charge I had received to have thee baptised with Christian rites. 
But I heeded not ; I was wedded to my own faith, and bred thee 
in it ; in this alone unfaithful : in all besides thou hast found in 
me the duty of a servant and the care of a parent. Yestermorn, 
the phantom came again, with fiercer look, and in louder accents 
upbraided me. He said, too, that thine hour was at hand. Then, 
O forbear ! ' still pleaded the aged guardian — 

* Consent no longer now these arms to wear $ 
Suppress thy daring, and relieve my care.' 

19 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

He ceased and wept. She remained in suspense a moment, for 
similar visions had troubled her own spirit ; but brightening* up at 
length, she strove to calm his fears, while she declared her own 
purpose was unshaken. 

Meeting with Argantes, and receiving two sulphurous balls 
from Ismeno, she departed from the city, disguised in black 
armour. Being- perceived by the guard, the two warriors had to 
fight their way, but succeeded in firing the tower, and making 
good their retreat. The gates were opened to receive them ; but 
Clorinda, in her eagerness to avenge a wound she had received, 
turned to pursue and slay her antagonist, and found on her 
return that the gates had been hastily shut, and she excluded. 
Favoured by the night, she threw herself among the ranks of the 
enemy, till, finding convenient opportunity, she withdrew. Tan- 
cred, however, had observed without recognising- her, and now 
pursued and challenged. 

Then turning swift — { What bring'st thou here V she cried. 
6 Lo ! war and death I bring ! ' the chief replied. 
i Then war and death,' the virgin said, ' I give : 
What thou to me wouldst bring, from me receive ! - 

Perceiving that his foe was on foot, Tancred dismounted, that 
they might meet in equal combat. 

Thou night, whose envious veil with dark disguise 
Concealed the warriors' acts from human eyes, 
Permit me from thy gloom to snatch their fame, 
And give to future times each mighty name : 
So shall they shine, from age to age displayed, 
For glories won beneath thy sable shade ! 

The darkness precluded all display of skill in the combat, and fury 
supplied its place. 

No pause, no rest th' impatient warriors know. 
But rage to rage, and blow succeeds to blow : 
Still more and more the combat seems to rise, 
That scarce their weapons can their wrath suffice ; 
Till, grappling fierce, in nearer strife they close, 
And helm to helm, and shield to shield oppose. 

As the day dawned, they gazed on each other and paused. The 
gallant Tancred at length broke silence, and begged to know the 
name and lineag'e of the enemy whose prowess was to give renown 
either to his death or his victory. She haughtily refused to reveal 
herself, but told him she was one of those who fired the tower. 
Burning with renewed rage, Tancred challenged his foe again. 

What dreadful wounds on either side are given ! 
Through steel and flesh their ruthless swords are driven. 
Though faint with blood effused from every vein, 
Their staggering limbs can scarce their weight sustain ; 
20 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Yet still they live, and still maintain the strife, 
Disdain and rage withhold their fleeting life. 

But now Clorinda's fated hour was come- 
Full at her bosom Tancred aimed the sword — 
The thirsty steel her lovely bosom gored ; 
The sanguine current stained with blushing red 
The embroidered robe that o'er her form was spread. 
She feels approaching death in every vein ; 
Her trembling knees no more her weight sustain ; 
But still the Christian knight renews the blow, 
And threatening, presses close his vanquished foe ; 
She, as she fell, with moving voice addressed 
The chief, and thus preferred her last request 
(Some pitying angel formed her last desire, 
In which faith, hope, and charity conspire). 
To the fair infidel such grace was given, 
That though in life she spurned the laws of Heaven, 
Yet now submitting in her dying hour, 
Her humbled spirit owned a Saviour's power. 
' Friend, thou hast conquered ! I forgive the stroke ; 
O let me pardon, too, from thee invoke ! 
Not for this mortal frame I urge my prayer, 
For this I know no fear, and ask no care ; 
'Tis for my sinful soul I pity crave : 
O wash my guilt in the baptismal wave ! ' 

The wrath of the victor subsides at the touching' request preferred 
in feeble accents ; he recollects a scanty rill which murmurs at no 
great distance — 

Hither the chieftain hied without delay, 
Here filled his casque, then took his pensive way 
Back to fulfil the strange and sad demand ; 
But some portentous instinct shakes his hand, 
As from her face the glittering helm he draws ; 
The features now appear — he sees, he knows — 
knowledge best unknown ! distracting sight ! 
Scarcely she lives, and speechless stands the knight. 
Yet rousing all his strength, with holy zeal 
Prepares the sacred office to fulfil* 
While from his lips he gave the words of grace, 
A smile of transport brightened in her face ; 
Happy in death, she seemed her joy to tell ; 
And bade, for heaven, an empty world farewell. 
$ O'er her fair face death's livid hue arose, 
So mixed with violets the lily shews. 

* According to the canons of the church, any man, woman, or child may 
administer baptism in a case of emergency. 

21 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Her eyes to heaven the dying virgin raised ; 
The sun, the sky, with kindly pity gazed ; 
* And since the power of speech her lips denied, 
Her clay-cold hand the pledge of peace supplied. 
So fled the spirit from her peaceful breast, 
So seemed she but as lulled in quiet rest. 

Tancred's firmness now forsook him ; a mortal coldness seized his 
frame, and he lay pale and speechless like his victim — 

Then had his soul pursued the fleeting fair, 
Whose gentle spirit hovered yet in air — 

But a band of Christians chanced to pass in search of water, and 
recognised the Latian hero. Nor would they leave the beautiful 
form of Clorinda to the wolves, but carried both to the tent of 
Tancred. 

On recovering' his recollection, Tancred abandoned himself to 
frantic grief, tore the bandages from his wounds, and desired to 
die. The other Christian chiefs strove now to console and now 
to reprove him ; and Godfrey, with the venerable Peter, in part 
succeeded in calming his passion, by reminding him of the second 
death, which might justly punish his impiety. The consolation 
came, however, when Clorinda appeared to him in a dream, told 
him of her heavenly happiness, and encouraged him to hope 
to share it. 

6 Then live,' she said — 

4 Then live — and know thou hast Clorinda's love, 

As far as earthly thoughts can souls immortal move. 9 



CANTO XIII. 

To prevent the Christians from constructing new works, Ismeno 

invoked a band of demons to occupy the only spot where wood 

could be obtained. Tancred alone disdained to fear. He entered 

the enchanted forest ; the earthquakes rocked, and the thunders rolled 

in vain to terrify him. The burning walls and flaming ramparts 

which had appeared to others rose'on his sight ; he resolved to defy 

them and walk through ; the flames disappeared as he entered them ; 

a cloudy tempest rose, but as he walked on, the storm vanished and 

the clouds withdrew. Now nothing impeded his passage but the 

tangled boughs of the trees, and he came at last on a spacious 

sylvan theatre, having only a stately cypress in the midst. The 

trunk was covered with hieroglyphics, and among these, which 

he could not decipher, were conspicuous and intelligible words, 

beseeching him not to violate this grove, the residence of departed 

spirits. He heard the murmur of human voices, prompting him 

alike to awe and pity ; yet, nothing moved, he drew his shining 

steel and struck the cypress, intending to hew it down. The tree 
22 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

ran blood, and stained the grassy turf. Filled with horror, yet 
resolved to persevere, the hero struck again, and Clorinda's voice 
was heard from the stem in plaintive tones reproaching him for 
violating her repose. She informs him that these trees are for a 
time inhabited by the souls of those warriors who have fallen 
under the walls of Jerusalem, and he has struck that which she 
occupies. Tancred cannot brave this; he departs, and confesses 
himself worsted.* 



CANTO XIV. 

Now from her mother's ancient lap arose 
Indulgent Night, befriending sweet repose ; 
Soft breezes in her train attendant flew, 
"While from her robe she shook the pearly dew ; 
The fluttering zephyrs breathed a grateful wind, 
And soothed the balmy slumbers of mankind. 

As the Christian host slept peacefully under the Almighty's 
watchful care, a dream was sent to Godfrey, 

Not far from where the sun, with eastern ray, 

Through golden portals pours the beamy day, 

A crystal gate there stands, whose valves unfold, 

Ere yet the skies the dawning light behold. 

From thence the dreams arise, which heavenly power 

To pious mortals sends in gracious hour. 

And thence the vision sped its way to Godfrey's tent. He 
seemed upraised to the realms of glory ; he heard the sacred choir 
chanting their hymns of praise, and presently he was addressed 
by a warrior clothed in lambent flames, who announced himself as 
his deceased friend Hugo. By him he was encouraged to prose- 
cute his enterprise, and counselled to recall Rinaldo, whom alone 
Heaven will empower to destroy the enchantment of the forest, 
and who is divinely appointed to bear the honours of the war 
second only to himself. 

In the council held in the morning, Guelpho interceded for 
Einaldo, the other chiefs murmuring their approval ; and Ubald, 
with Charles the Dane, was commissioned to seek out the warrior. 
Proceeding towards Ascalon, according to the directions of Peter, 
they are met and entertained by a friendly magician. 

* Some critics have condemned the prominent place allotted to enchantments 
in this epic machinery, but there is no doubt whatever that they were believed in 
by the brave and the fair of the twelfth century. The scepticism of modern days 
would have seemed quite as shocking to these valiant knights, as their superstition 
does to our philosophy ; and all that poetry does in gratifying the natural love of 
the marvellous, is to avail itself of the current belief of the times which it describes. 
To render fiction poetically true, it is only necessary that he who relates it should 
have grounds for appearing persuaded of its truth. 

23 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

An oaken wreath surrounds his aged brows, 
In lengthened folds his snowy vesture flows, 
A wand he shakes ; secure he treads the waves, 
And, with his feet unbathed, the torrent braves. 

He shews them many wonders connected with the secret origin 
of springs and rivers — of vapours, rains, and dews— of winds, light- 
nings, meteors, and comets; while he explains that he obtained 
all this knowledge in his unconverted state, but now submits to 
Divine authority, and retaining his arts, employs them in the 
Christian service. 

He then gives them a particular account of the snares that 
Armida had laid for Rinaldo, and how she has led him to an 
enchanted island, seduced him with siren songs, and lulled him 
into fatal repose. He warns them, of the allurements they must 
shun, and the way in which they must awaken the knight to a 
sense of shame and duty. 

CANTO XY. 

In the morning, the two knights resumed their journey, and 
presently reached a stream in which was a little bark conducted 
by a lady, whom they had been instructed to recognise by the 
ringlets on her forehead, and her vestments of changing colours. 
In this vessel they reached the open sea, sailed along the African 
coast, passed the Pillars of Hercules, and steering to the south 
and west, found themselves among the islands which poets call 
the Fortunate. Amidst these islands they found a spacious lonely 
bay, which they entered, and were landed by the virgin pilot, who 
pointed out to them the enchanted castle of Armida. As they 
attempted to gain the ascent, a hideous serpent, and afterwards a 
ferocious lion, intercepted their passage ; but these and numerous 
other monsters were quelled by the shaking of the golden wand. 
Having reached the summit, they came upon a spacious level of 
surpassing beauty. 

There youthful spring salutes the enraptured eye, 

Unfading verdure and a gladsome sky ; 

Eternal zephyrs through the groves prevail, 

And incense breathes in every balmy gale. 

No irksome change the unvaried climate knows 

Of heat alternate, and alternate snows ; 

A genial power the tender herbage feeds, 

And decks with every sweet the smiling meads ; 

Diffuses soft perfumes from every flower, 

And clothes with lasting shade each rural bower ; 

There reared aloft a stately palace stands, 

Whose prospect wide the hills and seas commands. 

In vain a copious stream and a shady bower invited the knights 
to repose; warned of the dangers of the place, they refused to 

24 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

taste any of its pleasures. They advanced till they reached a lake, 
on whose banks a sumptuous banquet was spread. Two beautiful 
damsels were sporting in the water, and one, half rising from it, 
revealed in part her beauties. 

Till on the approaching chiefs she turned her eyes, 

Then feigned, with mimic fear, a coy surprise ; 

Swift from her head she loosed, with eager haste, 

The yellow curls in artful fillets laced ; 

The falling tresses, o'er her limbs displayed, 

Wrapped all her beauties in a golden shade ; 

Thus hid in locks and circled by the flood, 

"With sidelong glance, o'erjoyed, the knights she viewed. 

Her smiles, amid her blushes, lovelier shew ; 

Amid her smiles, her blushes lovelier glow. 

Now raising her voice, in witching strains she invited them to 
lay aside their armour, and refresh themselves by bathing and 
partaking of the viands prepared. But their hearts were firmly 
steeled against every soothing art, and they pursued their way to 
the palace. 

CANTO XYI. 

The palace rose in the midst of a sumptuous garden — 

There silver lakes reflect the beaming day ; 
Here crystal streams in gurgling fountains play ; 
Cool vales descend, and sunny hills arise, 
And groves, and caves, and grottos strike the eyes. 
Art shewed her utmost power ; but art concealed, 
With greater charms the pleased attention held. 
It seemed as nature played a sportive part, 
And strove to mock the mimic works of art. 

In the midst of the feathered choir, the Phoenix sang' with human 
voice, inviting to the voluptuous pleasures with which the place 
abounded ; but the virtuous warriors, passing through these allur- 
ing scenes, suffered nothing to detain them till they perceived 
Rinaldo and his mistress — 

One proud to rule, one prouder to obey, 
He blest in her, and she in beauty's sway. 

They watched awhile her guileful arts : the binding and loosing 
and smoothing of her hair ; the sweet repulse, the tender scorn, 
the engaging smile, the tear of transport — till she rose and left 
him for a time. They then approached Einaldo ; and Ubald held 
up his shield before him, that he might view in it his own 
imas;e : — 

His sweeping robes he saw, his flowing hair 

With odours breathing, his luxurious air $ 

25 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

His sword, the only mark of warlike pride, 

Estranged from fight, hung idly at his side ; 

And wreathed with flowers, seemed worn for empty show, 

No dreadful weapon 'gainst a valiant foe. 

Thus beholding himself, and sickening at the sight, Binaldo 
awakes from his trance — 

And wishes opening earth his shame would hide, 
Or ocean veil him in its 'whelming tide. 

The knights invite, him again to join the ranks of the brave ; and 
shame giving way to anger, he hastens with them from the allur- 
ing bower. Armida perceiving his departure, follows him in the 
wildest anguish and with the tenderest entreaties : 

She who so late the laws of love despised, 
Who scorned the lover though the love she prized ; 
Whose conquering eyes could every heart subdue — 
Behold her now a lover's steps pursue ! 

Binaldo stops but a moment, at Ubald's suggestion, to hear what 
she has to say. 

Deep sorrow spread o'er all her languid air ; 

Yet sweet in wo, and beauteous in despair ; 

Silent on him her eager look she bent ; 

Disdain, and fear, and shame, her speech prevent, 

While from her eyes, the knight, abashed, withdrew ; 

Or snatched, with wary glance, a transient view. 

She bade him not suppose she addressed him as a lover, since he 
now scorns that relation, but as an enemy. She confesses that, 
through hatred to his religion, she had pursued, deceived, and 
detained him ; but confesses that she in turn has been vanquished 
and enslaved. She declares herself content to attend him as his 
captive, to be exhibited to all the camp as his once proud 
betrayer : 

6 These hands shall cut the tresses from my head, 
And o'er my limbs a servile habit spread ; 
Thee will I follow 'mid surrounding foes, 
When all the fury of the battle glows ; 
I want not soul, so far at least, to dare 
To lead thy courser, or thy javelin bear. 
Let me sustain, or be myself, thy shield ; 
Still will I guard thee in the dangerous field ; 
No hostile hand so savage would be found 
Through my poor limbs thy dearer life to wound.' 

Bepressing his starting tears, Binaldo assures her she is not his 
foe, and cannot be his slave; that he bears her no hatred, nor 
harbours scorn against her ; that her love and her anger have 

26 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

i 

alike deceived lier in this matter. He expresses his shame and 
sorrow for the weakness of which he has been guilty, and avows 
himself still her champion so far as Christian faith permits, while 
he refuses to take her with him. 

Now eyeing- him with scorn, she broke out in accents of rage : 

* Boast not Bertoldo's nor Sophia's blood ! 
Thou sprung'st, relentless, from the stormy flood : 
Thy infant years th' Hyrcanian tigress fed ; 
On frozen Caucasus thy youth was bred ! — 
See if he deigns one tender tear bestow, 
Or pay one sigh in pity to my wo ! 
What shall I say, or whither shall I turn ? 
He calls me his — yet leaves me here in scorn ! 
See how his foe the generous victor leaves, 
Forgets her error, and her crime forgives ! 
Hear how sedate, how cool his counsels prove ! 
This rigid Zeno in the school of love. 

* * * m 

Go, wretch ! — such peace attend thy tortured mind 
As I, forsaken here, am doomed to find ! 
My hence ! — begone ! — but soon expect to view 
My vengeful ghost thy trait'rous flight pursue : 
A fury armed with snakes and torch I'll prove, 
With terrors equal to my former love ! ' 

Einaldo leaves her fainting on the shore, and sets sail with his 
companions. When she recovers, she destroys the enchanted 
palace and gardens, and, consenting to live only for revenge, 
returns to Gaza to join the army of the caliph of Egypt. 

CANTO XVII. 

Arriving at Gaza, which was then held by the Egyptian 
monarch, Armida makes her appearance in the character of a 
female archer seated on a stately car, drawn by four unicorns, 
and attended by a hundred maids, and a hundred pages on milk- 
white steeds ; while behind is her troop of soldiers, commanded by 
Aradine. While the gazing hosts admire her beauty, she proposes 
herself and her domains as the reward of him who shall bring her 
the head of Einaldo. All are eager to proffer their aid, Adrastus 
and Tissaphernes especially appearing as rivals for the honour of 
avenging her. 

CANTO XVIII. 

Meanwhile Einaldo, arriving at the camp, confesses his errors, 
implores and finds forgiveness, and is immediately despatched to 

the enchanted forest. It does not present monsters and objects 

27 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

of terror to him, as it did to the other warriors, but offers all the 
charms of an earthly paradise. 

Then new desires incite his feet to rove 

Through all the deep recesses of the grove. 

As searching round, from shade to shade he strays, 

New scenes at once invite him, and amaze. 

Where'er he treads, the earth her tribute pours 

In gushing springs, or voluntary flowers : 

Here blooms the lily ; there the fragrant rose ; 

Here spouts a fountain ; there a riv'let flows : 

From every spray the liquid manna trills ; 

And honey from the softening bark distils. 

Again the strange, the pleasing sound he hears 

Of plaints and music mingling in his ears : 

Yet nought appears that mortal voice can frame, 

Nor harp, nor timbrel, whence the music came. 

A stately myrtle attracts his attention. And now a hundred trees 
display each a cleft from which issues a woodland nymph, and 
these forming' a circle, dance around the knight and the myrtle, 
with songs of welcome and the music of timbrel and harp. Pre- 
sently a low sound was heard from the myrtle, and Armida's self 
issued from the trunk. Blushing, and rolling her mournful eyes, 
she seeks a renewal of their affectionate intercourse — 

Unwary pity here, with sudden charm, 
Might melt the wisest, and the coldest warm. 

But Binaldo, remembering his instructions, drew his sword to cut 
down the myrtle. In vain she throws herself between the weapon 
and her tree ; in vain she becomes transformed into a huge giant 
figure, an armed Briareus with fifty pair of hands wielding 
many swords and shields, while the surrounding nymphs were 
changed to Cyclops. The hero, unmoved, pursued his task, amidst 
the groans of the myrtle, and the infernal gloom of the scene, the 
stormy winds, the hoarse thunder, the flashing lightning*, and the 
rocking earthquakes. As soon as the myrtle fell, the phantoms 
fled ; the enchantment was dissolved. The forest, now restored to 
its natural state, supplied wood for new machines of war, superior 
to those used in the former assault, and Godfrey disposed every- 
thing for a new attack. 

During the struggle, the Christian cause was favoured by signal 
interpositions of Heaven : the fires of the Saracens were driven 
back on themselves, and a falling rock crushed Ismeno to death at 
the moment he is preparing new enchantments. Rinaldo per- 
formed prodigies of valour, and the sacred banner was at length 
placed on the ramparts, while the assailants poured in on every 
hand. The souls of all the warriors that had fallen in the conflict 
assembled in mid-air to share the triumph of the Crusaders. 

28 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 



CANTO XIX. 

Argantes remained one of the last of the infidels on the walls, 
where, being* met and defied by Tancred, he taunted him with 
having* come so late to finish his duel ; and now not as a hero to 
dare a hero, but as a base artificer of war, defended by troops and 
engines. Tancred indignantly invited him to retire with him, and 
prove his boasted might in single combat. 

Then to his troops : * Withhold your wrathful hands ; 
This warrior now my sword alone demands : 
No common foe ; by challenge him I claim ; 
By former promise mine, and mine by fame.' 

* * * * 

Already Tancred hopes the glorious strife, 

And burns with zeal to take the pagan's life : 

He claims him wholly, all his blood demands, 

And envies e'en a drop to vulgar hands. 

He spreads his shield, forbids the threatening blow, 

And guards from darts and spears the mighty foe. 

Reaching a secluded valley, the warriors stopped, and Argantes 
turned a thoughtful mournful gaze upon the conquered town. 
Tancred, perceiving that his adversary had no shield, generously 
threw away his own, and asked the meaning of this sudden gloom. 

' On yon fair town,' the infidel replied, 

c Judea's sceptred queen and Asia's pride, 

That bows her vanquished head, I think with pain, 

"While I, to stay her downfall, strive in vain. 

Too small a vengeance will thy life afford, 

Though Heaven adjudge it to my conquering sword !' 

They advanced to combat, each well knowing the valour of his 
foe. Argantes excelled in size and strength ; Tancred, in ligiitness 
and dexterity. Twice did Tancred, having obtained the advantage, 
oifer to stay his hand and spare life and liberty to the fierce Cir- 
cassian. Disdaining his clemency, Argantes rose and renewed the 
combat : — 

Again his hand the courteous victor stayed ; 
4 Submit, chief, preserve thy life,' he said ; 
But while he paused, the fierce insidious foe 
Full at his heels directs a treacherous blow, 
And threats aloud. Then flash from Tancred's eves 
The sparks of wrath, while thus the hero cries : 
6 And dost thou, wretch ! such base return afford 
'For life so long preserved from Tancred's sword V 

He said ; and as he spoke, no more delayed, 
But through his visor plunged the avenging blade. 

29 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

Thus fell Argantes : as he lived, he died ; 
Untamed his soul, unconquered was his pride ; 
Nor drooped his spirit at the approach of death, 
But threats and rage employed his latest breath. 

Tancred now vainly endeavoured to return to the camp : exhausted 
from loss of blood, he swooned away on the plain. 

Meanwhile, the victors had made a dreadful slaughter within 
the city ; and Solyman had induced Aladin, with the remnant of 
the troops, to retire within the tower of David, in the hope that 
the succours from Egypt might arrive in time to save them. This 
army was, indeed, on its march; and Godfrey had despatched 
Yafrino, a squire of Tancred's, familiar with Eastern languages, 
to watch its movements. Vafrino, mingling freely with the 
warriors, is recognised by Erminia, who reveals herself to him, 
discloses the plans of the enemy, and accompanies him on his 
return to the Christian host. On the way, they find Tancred, 
and get him brought into the holy city, While Erminia remains 
with him, Yafrino reports to Godfrey the state of the Egyptian 
army, and the danger especially menacing his life and Einaldo's. 
Precautions are taken accordingly, and the Christians prepare to 
meet this new enemy. 



CANTO XX. 

At sunrise on the following morning, the Egyptian army 
appeared in sight; and the Christian host went out to meet it, 
and offered battle,* leaving Raymond in command of a body of 
Syrian auxiliaries and Gascons, to keep the Saracens beleaguered 
in the tower of David. Godfrey flew from rank to rank, encourag- 
ing and stimulating the troops, while Rinaldo headed the onset. 
The Christian arms prevail, and the ranks of the foe are yielding, 
when Einaldo meets the car of Armida. Conflicting passions rise 
within her •. she prepares her bow against him, and fits the shaft, 
but love withholds it for awhile. 

Thrice in her hand the missile reed she tries, 
And thrice her faltering hand its strength denies. 
At length her wrath prevails — she twangs the string, 
And sends the whizzing arrow on the wing : 
Swift flies the shaft — as swiftly flies her prayer, 
That all its fury may be spent in air ! 
She hopes, she fears, she follows with her eye, 
And marks the weapon as it cuts the sky. 

* All the epic poets have described battles, and have lavished their most brilliant 
poetry upon these scenes ; yet, perhaps, few passages in their works have afforded 
less pleasure to their readers. It is for this reason, and not because Tasso is 
inferior in this kind of description, that we have quoted few such passages. 
30 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

The weapon, not unfaithful to her aim, 

Against the warrior's stubborn corselet came. 

Harmless it fell ; aside the hero turned : 

She deemed her power despised, her anger scorned. 

Again she bent her bow, but failed to wound, 

"While love, with surer darts, her bosom found. 

While the combat raged on the plain, the proud Solyman, viewing' 
it, disdained to remain in the tower, and burned to join the fray. 
Aladin and the rest of the garrison partook of his martial rage, 
and a desperate sally was made. Solyman cut his way through, 
and hastened to the fiercer battle ; while Aladin and his followers 
dispersed the Syrian troops, and forced the Gascons back. The 
tumult reaches the place where Tancred is lying ; he rises from 
his couch, grasps his sword and shield, and appears in the conflict. 
His presence decides the struggle, and Aladin falls under the hand 
of Raymond. Meanwhile, Solyman brings a short but glorious 
aid to the Egyptian allies. Among the many warriors slain by 
him, fame has snatched from oblivion the names of two only — 
Edward, and his wife Gildippe, who had performed wondrous deeds 
of valour throughout the campaign, and who, ever succouring each 
other, had never been separated in fight. 

As when an axe the stately elm invades, 

Or storms uproot it from its native shades, 

It falls ; and with it falls the mantling vine, 

Whose curling folds its ample waist entwine, 

So Edward sunk beneath the pagan steel ; 

So with her Edward, fair Gildippe fell. 

They strive to speak, their wounds are lost in sighs, 

And on their lips th' imperfect accent dies. 

Each other still with mournful looks they view, 

And, close embracing, take the last adieu, 

Till, losing both the cheerful beams of light, 

Their gentle souls together take their flight. 

The Christian arms, however, prevail ; Adrastus, Solyman, and 
Tissaphernes fall successively beneath the arm of Rinaldo ; and the 
fair enchantress is forsaken by the rest of her champions. Leaping 
from her car, and mounting a charger, she herself took to flight — 

But like two hounds that snuff the tainted dew, 
Anger and love her parting steps pursue. 

Kinaldo, pausing to observe what friends he should aid, or what 
foes pursue, marked her flight, and followed. He overtook her 
just as she had laid aside her armour, and was about to plunge an 
arrow into her own bosom. i Love/ she exclaimed, 'that has so 
deeply pierced my heart, knows how well it will admit this 
weapon also. 

6 Unblest Armida ! what is now thy fate, 

When this alone can cure thy wretched state ? 

31 



SPIRIT OF THE JERUSALEM DELIVERED. 

This weapon's point must heal the wound of love, 
And friendly death my heart's physician prove. 
Fond love, farewell ! But come, thou fell disdain ! 
For ever partner with my ghost remain ; 
Together let us rise from realms below, 
To haunt the ungrateful author of my wo ; 
To bring dire visions to his fearful sight, 
And fill with horror every sleepless night ! ' 

Kinaldo now rushed behind her, and withheld her hand. Again 
he vowed himself her champion, and swore to restore her to the 
throne of her fathers. 

He spoke ; and speaking, sought her breast to move 
"With sighs and tears, the eloquence of love ! 
Till, like the melting flakes of mountain snow, 
Where shines the sun, or tepid breezes blow, 
Her anger, late so fierce, dissolves away, 
And gentle passions bear a milder sway. 

Meanwhile, Godfrey gathered the last laurels on the battle-field, 
the few remaining foes falling', flying, or surrendering*. 

Thus Godfrey conquered ; and as yet the day 

Gave from the western waves the parting ray, 

Swift to the walls the glorious victor rode, 

The domes where Christ had made his blest abode. 

Still in his blood-stained vest, with princely train 

The impatient chieftain sought the sacred fane ; 

There hung his arms, there poured his votive prayer, 

Kissed his loved Saviour's tomb, and bowed adoring there. 




CHAMBERS'S 

REPOSITORY. 







LIBERIA. 



a^^ *> 




^^r HE little African republic of Liberia has of late 
\ years excited in this country and other parts of 
Europe, as well as in America, an amount of 
interest which, unless its sources were known, 
would appear quite out of proportion to the actual 
importance of that infant commonwealth. A small 
'community of emancipated slaves and descendants 
of slaves, recently established on a remote and unfre- 
quented coast, would seem likely to attract but little 
notice, and that only of a casual and half - contemptuous 
kind. Such would certainly have been the manner and spirit in 
No. 57. l i 



LIBERIA. 

which Roman statesmen and philosophers, in the days of Scipio 
or of Augustus, would have regarded such an insignificant 
colony of freedmen, if indeed they had deigned to notice it at 
all. But at the present day we have learned, or are gradually 
learning, to estimate communities, as well as individuals, by 
a new standard. The result is, that this young and feeble 
colony, whose brief history inspires so many hopes for the cause 
of human progress, is regarded by many persons with an interest 
which might almost be termed affectionate. The extinction of 
the slave-trade, and ultimately of slavery itself— the diffusion of 
Christian civilisation over the vast interior of Africa — such are the 
splendid results which philanthropists and politicians expect from 
the success and extension of this settlement. Men of science and 
men of business, who confine their attention to their own special 
pursuits, cannot but regard with curiosity and good-will the pros- 
perous growth of a community which seems destined to solve the 
long-vexed question of the capacity of the African race for self- 
government, and to convert the African peninsula into a vast 
^garden of tropical products for the supply of industrious and 
wealthy Europe. 

Views and expectations like these influencing the minds of 
eminent statesmen in this and some other countries, have led them 
to form favourable treaties with the young republic — to protect its 
interests with friendly care, to receive its chief magistrate with 
the honours reserved for the most distinguished visitors, and to 
manifest in other ways the peculiar reg*ard which the colony seems 
to awaken in all who are acquainted with its history and character. 
The same feelings, it is hoped, will lend an interest, in the eyes of 
many readers, to the following account of the past fortunes and 
present condition of the settlement. The facts embodied in this 
narrative, it should be stated, have been obtained in part from 
publications of good authority, and in part from the communi- 
cations of respectable inhabitants of the colony. 

A history of the Liberian republic, to be fully intelligible, must 
be preceded by a description of its situation and present extent. 
In most of our modern maps, the coast of Upper Guinea is 
divided into four sections, styled respectively, beginning from the 
east, the Slave Coast, the Gold Coast, the Ivory Coast, and the 
Grain Coast. The three first-named divisions face to the south- 
ward, the line of coast running nearly east and west, and forming 
the northern shore of the Gulf of Guinea. But at Cape Palmas, 
which is the western limit of the Ivory Coast, the line of coast 
bends to the north-east, facing the Atlantic Ocean, and keeps on 
in this direction beyond Sierra Leone, nearly to the mouth of the 
river Gambia. The southern portion of this coast, between Cape 
Palmas and Sierra Leone, is the fertile region formerly known as 
the Grain Coast. The native inhabitants, thoug'h as barbarous in 
most respects as their neighbours, were somewhat more indus- 
trious, and more addicted to agricultural pursuits. The slave- 



JLXBERIA. 

dealers, as well as the honest traders who visited the Guinea 
Coast, were accustomed to purchase here their supplies of rice, and 
such other provisions as the country afforded. The influence of 
this trade upon the inhabitants, had it not been counteracted by- 
one more powerful, would have been highly beneficial ; but, 
unhappily, the slave-trade was at the same time carried on here 
with great activity, and with the usual results. The native 
population was first demoralised by it, and then nearly exter- 
minated. The destructive effects of the African slave-trade have 
only of late years become fully known. It is probable that, 
during- the past century, the population of a great part of Africa, 
and more particularly of the regions near the coast, has been 
constantly diminishing* from this cause alone. In the year 1823, 
shortly after the arrival of the first Liberian colonists on the Grain 
Coast, the governor of the settlement travelled about 150 miles 
along" that coast. There were indications sufficient to shew that 
the country had formerly been very populous. He found it 
■ nearly desolated of inhabitants/ and covered with dense forests 
and almost impervious thickets of brambles. Of one of the 
streams, on which he had purchased a site for a colonial village, 
he wrote : t Along this beautiful river were formerly scattered, in 
Africa's better days, innumerable hamlets ; and till within the last 
twenty years, nearly the whole river-board, for one or two miles 
back, was under that slight culture which obtains among the 
natives of this country. But the population has been wasted by 
the rage for trading in slaves. A few detached and solitary plan- 
tations, scattered at long intervals through the tract, just serve to 
interrupt the silence and relieve the gloom which reigns over the 
whole region. 7 

Such was the state of that part of the country in which Liberia 
was founded. The whole of the Grain Coast, from the colony of 
Sierra Leone on the north, to Cape Palmas on the south, is now 
comprised within the territory of that republic. The length of 
this line of coast is about 500 miles. The average breadth of the 
colonial territory, between the coast and the independent tribes of 
the interior, is about 40 miles. The extent of countrv over which 
the republic now exercises jurisdiction is not less than 20,000 
square miles. This is nearly three times the area of Wales, or 
about equal to two-thirds of Scotland. But the population of 
the republic, though rapidly increasing*, is as yet by no means 
commensurate with its extent, or with the natural capabilities 
of the country. It comprises only about 12,000 colonists from 
America, with about 340,000 natives, who have voluntarily placed 
themselves under the laws of the commonwealth. But along this 
coast the slave-trade has been entirely abolished. Cultivation of 
the soil is rapidly extending. The forests and brambles are already 
in many parts cleared away. Where once stood the innumerable 
hamlets of pagan savages, Christian villages are springing up. 
Small colonial schooners, laden with palm-oil, dye-woods, rice, 

3 



LIBERIA., 

coffee, and other products of the country, ply constantly along the 
coast, where, fifty years ago, even the pirate and the slave-trader 
sometimes hesitated to land, so great was their dread of the fierce 
and treacherous tribes that inhabited it. On what was, at one 
time, the site of the principal slave-mart of the Grain Coast, is 
now situated the capital of Liberia — a thriving seaport town, of 
2000 inhabitants, with its stores and wharfs, its light-house and 
fort, its court-house, schools, churches, newspapers, and literary 
and charitable associations. In the following pages, we propose 
to sketch, as briefly as possible, the causes and events by which 
these astonishing and delightful changes have been effected. 

About the close of the year 1816, an association was formed 
at Washington, styled the American Colonisation Society for 
Colonising the Free People of Colour of the United States. The 
founders of this society were a few benevolent Americans, who 
felt deeply for the unhappy condition of the coloured inhabitants 
of their country, both bond and free. On some accounts, indeed, 
the free negroes in America are even more to be pitied than the 
slaves. With the natural aspirations of freemen, they find them- 
selves depressed into an inferior caste, repulsed from the society 
of the white race, and excluded from all but the most humble and 
least lucrative employments. The object for which the Colonisa- 
tion Society was established, was to found on the coast of Africa, 
or in some other place beyond the limits of the United States, a 
colony of free coloured people from America. The originators of 
the society did not, however, confine their views merely to the 
deportation of persons previously free ; on the contrary, they 
anticipated that many slaves would be emancipated by their 
owners for the express purpose of sending them to the colony. 
The event has shewn that these expectations were well founded. 
More than half of the colonists now in Liberia were originally slaves, 
and would probably have remained in that condition but for the 
establishment of the colony. If the Colonisation Society had done 
nothing more than procure the freedom of 5000 slaves, and place 
them in comfortable circumstances, its members would have 
abundant reason to be satisfied with their work. But the society 
has accomplished much more than this. The real purpose which 
some of its most intelligent and far-seeing founders had in view, 
was of a much vaster scope : they meant to discover and open a 
way by which the emancipation of all the slaves in the United 
States might ultimately be effected. It is true that this expecta- 
tion — which might, if publicly proclaimed, have fixed upon them 
at the time the reputation of visionaries — was kept in a measure 
out of view. But abundant evidence remains to shew, that the 
purpose and hope were really entertained by them ; and the fact 
ought to be remembered to their credit, now that their noble and 
philanthropic desig'n seems to be in a fair way for accomplishment. 
Although some of the most eminent public men of America, 
including the late distinguished statesmen, Mr Henry Clay and 

4 



LIBERIA. 

Mr Daniel Webster, were members of the society, it was from the 
beginning" a private association, dependent for its resources entirely 
on voluntary contributions. The slight assistance which it occa- 
sionally received from the government, was given through an 
indirect channel. A few Africans, liberated from slave-ships, were 
placed by President Monroe in charge of the society, with the funds 
necessary for their support. The American men-of-war cruising 
on the coast of Africa gave, on some occasions, valuable aid and 
protection to the settlement ; though, as it happened, the most 
important succour which the colony ever received, was given 
shortly after its establishment by a British ship and a British 
military officer. 

The members of the society seem to have relied much from the 
first on the sympathy and interest which their undertaking would 
awaken in this country. The two agents who were sent out in 
1817 to purchase a site for the settlement, came first to London, and 
sought the counsel of Mr Wilberforce, Mr Clarkson, and other dis- 
tinguished and influential friends of the African race. As may be 
supposed, the}" were cordially welcomed, and the advice and aid 
they required were readily given. From England, they sailed 
for Sierra Leone, where they met with an equally friendly reception. 
Every desired facility was afforded to them ; and two intelligent 
men from that colony accompanied them as guides and inter- 
preters in their voyage down the coast. They selected for the site 
of their first settlement the island of Sherboro, situated near the 
coast, about 120 miles south of Sierra Leone. In returning* to 
America, one of the agents, Mr Samuel Mills, who had also been 
one of the most active in founding* the Colonisation Society, 
sickened and died, probably of disease contracted on the coast. 
His name is the first in a long list of martyrs who have fallen 
victims to their zeal for the accomplishment of this benevolent 
enterprise. Nearly 100 white men, Americans and English, 
have thus perished while aiding in founding the republic of 
Liberia. 

In February 1820, the first emigTant ship sailed from New York 
for the African coast. There were on board thirty families of 
colonists, comprising in all eighty-nine individuals. They were 
under the charge of three white men, one of whom was a clergy- 
man, and another a medical man. They touched at Sierra Leone, 
where they were kindly received. An American man-of-war 
arrived shortly after them, and a lieutenant, with a boat's crew, 
went with them to aid in forming their settlement on Sherboro 
Island. The result of this first attempt was most disastrous. The 
island was low, and covered in most parts with a dense jungle : it 
proved to be one of the most unhealthy spots along that pestilential 
coast. Within a few months the three agents, the lieutenant with 
all his boat's crew — every white man, in short, who took part in 
the expedition, died of the African fever ; twenty of the emigrants 
shared their fate. The remainder were conveyed back to Sierra 



LIBERIA. 

Leone, where the governor generously provided for them until the 
Colonisation Society was able to resume its charge of them. 

When the news of this deplorable issue of the first experiment 
reached America, some members of the society were for giving up 
the whole undertaking as a hopeless affair, but the majority deter- 
mined to persevere. Four gentlemen undertook the perilous office 
of agents — a duty on which they must have entered with feelings 
somewhat similar to those which animate the volunteers who lead 
a forlorn-hope in an assault upon a strongly garrisoned fortress. 
Two of the four were clergymen, and one of them was a brother 
of one who had just before perished on Sherboro Island. In less than 
six months after their arrival on the African coast, two of the agents 
died, another returned in broken health to America, and the fourth 
was left alone. He was presently joined, however, by a fellow- 
worker, a physician from Philadelphia, who volunteered for this 
service. It is worthy of notice, that although the almost inevitable 
fate which awaited those who were engaged in this duty was well 
known, the society seem never to have had any difficulty in finding 
zealous and well-qualified persons to undertake it. The last- 
mentioned volunteer, Dr Ayres, aided by Captain Stockton of the 
American navy, succeeded in purchasing* a small tract of land, in a 
locality which happily proved to be the most eligible site for the 
colony that could have been chosen. This was at Cape Montser- 
rado— a name sometimes corrupted to Mesurado — on the Grain 
Coast, about 300 miles south-east of Sierra Leone. The cape is a 
long promontory, rising about 200 feet above the general low level 
of the coast, and jutting boldly forward into the sea. On the north 
side is a small bay, with a roadstead, offering a safe anchorage for 
shipping. To this place the emigrants were transported from 
Sierra Leone, and on the 25th of April 1822, the American flag' 
was hoisted on the cape, and the foundation was commenced of 
what is now the capital town of the Liberian Republic. The 
colonists who had survived the fever on Sherboro Island, were 
found to be thoroughly acclimated, and as healthy as they had 
been in America. There was reason to hope that the colony, being 
at length fairly established in a favourable situation, would 
continue to grow and prosper. 

The little settlement had yet, however, some severe trials to go 
through. A few months after the colonists had taken up their 
residence on Cape Montserrado, the neighbouring tribes formed 
a confederacy to expel or exterminate them. The land they 
occupied had been fairly purchased ; but the native chiefs, who 
derived most of their revenue from the slave-trade, soon discovered 
that this source of wealth would be entirely cut off by the new 
settlement. They feared, also, and naturally enough, that the 
colonists, gradually increasing in numbers and strength, would, 
seize upon the whole country, and destroy or drive away the native 
occupants. This was the manner in which powerful chiefs among 
themselves were accustomed to treat their weaker neighbours, and 

6 



LIBERIA. 

they could not suppose that the colonists would act upon a different 
system. Fortunately, at this time, the settlement was governed 
hj a man of singular ability and energy, Mr Ashmun, then just 
appointed agent of the Colonisation Society, and known in the 
annals of Liberia as the first governor, and the real founder of 
the infant state. Mr Ashmun was a young man, who had been 
engaged in literary labour in the United States. His remarkable 
capacity for the management of affairs was probably not known 
even to himself until it was called forth by the circumstances of 
his new position. These were of such a nature as would have 
appalled an ordinary mind. He arrived in the midst of the rainy 
season. On landing*, accompanied by his wife, he found that 
neither for himself nor for the fifty emigrants whom he brought 
with him was there any shelter provided. Only about thirty huts 
had been erected, and these were barely sufficient to accommodate 
the colonists already in the settlement. An accidental fire had 
recently consumed the greater part of the colony's stores. The 
natives were threatening hostilities, and no works of defence had 
been constructed. During* three months, Mr Ashmun laboured 
incessantly to supply these deficiencies, and insure the safety of 
the colony. He had cabins hastily constructed for the shelter of 
his company. The colony had six small pieces of artillery, some 
of which were half buried in the mud on the opposite side of the 
river. These were disinterred, brought over, and dragged, with 
great labour, up the steep bank to the height on which the town 
was built. They were then mounted on rude carriages, planted 
about the town in commanding positions, and covered by stockades. 
All the men in the settlement, only forty in number, were enrolled; 
drilled, told off into watches, and carefully instructed in their 
several duties. The forest, which encroached closely upon the 
little settlement, was cleared away, so that it might not afford a 
cover for the enemy. Mr Ashmun, while directing these labours, 
had to endure great sufferings. His wife, to whom he was tenderly 
attached, became ill with the fever, and died about six weeks after 
they landed. Mr Ashmun himself, attacked by the same illness^ 
and oppressed with grief and toil, was for a time disabled. He 
lay for several days insensible ; but as soon as he had partially 
recovered, he resumed his duties with indomitable resolution. 
After a nigirt of delirium, he sometimes spent the following morn- 
ing in directing the important works which were g'oing on. He 
made repeated efforts to conciliate the hostile chiefs by negotia- 
tions and by presents, but without success. Finding that war 
was inevitable, he took care to be prepared in time/ He states in 
the journal, and the fact should be mentioned as an evidence of his 
forethought and good judgment, that he 'had arranged a plan for 
obtaining* intelligence, which left him ignorant of none of their 
movements ; and by the singular fidelity and diligence of an indi- 
vidual, whose name it was still necessary to conceal, was perfectly 
informed of the temper and stand of every influential headman in 

7 



LIBERIA. 

the country, and often furnished with the very arguments used by 
them in their debates. 7 

At length, on the morning* of the 11th of November 1822, 
the threatened attack took place. A thousand savage warriors, 
armed with muskets and cutlasses, rushed suddenly upon the little 
village of the colonists. Their first assault was made with such 
violence as to be irresistible. One of the guns was captured, and 
several of the defenders killed or wounded. But the assailants 
having stopped to plunder some of the houses, time was given for 
the colonists to rally and bring the other pieces of artillery to 
bear upon the enemy. This was done with such effect, that the 
barbarians were soon thrown into confusion, and at last fled in 
dismay. They carried off, however, some of the spoil they had 
obtained, and seven small children whom they had seized in the 
houses. These children were restored unhurt to their friends after 
the conclusion of the war. Mr Ashmun now attempted again to 
resume negotiations with the chiefs, but they were in a bad tem- 
per, and refused to treat with him, still believing themselves strong 
enough to crush his little band by a bold and well-combined effort. 
Accordingly, on the 1st of December, a second attack was made 
on the town, which was assaulted on two sides at once with great 
fury and determination. The enemy, though promptly encoun- 
tered and repeatedly driven back, kept up the contest ibr nearly 
two hours. The colonists, however, were so well sheltered by the 
fortifications, that only three of them were severely hurt, one of 
whom died from the effects of his wounds. The enemy's loss in 
both the assaults was heavv, though its exact amount was not 
known. 

The discomfited but sullen chiefs still refused to come to an 
accommodation. The situation of the colonists had become 
well-nigh desperate : they had only provisions in the settlement 
sufficient to last for fifteen days — their supplies from the country 
were entirely cut off by the besieging force ; and they had only 
two rounds of ammunition left for their guns. From this perilous 
condition they were rescued in a remarkable manner. On the 
night after the last attack, the watch on duty heard a suspicious 
noise, and, fearing an ambuscade, fired off some muskets and a 
cannon. It proved to be a false alarm ; but the report of the gun 
was fortunately heard on board an English government schooner, 
which was just then passing (Jape Montserrado, on its way from 
Sierra Leone to Cape Coast Castle. The discharge of artillery at 
midnight, on a barbarous coast, was a strange and unaccountable 
event, which naturally excited curiosity. The schooner lay-to till 
mornin$>\ when a boat was sent on shore. The character and 
situation of the colonists, as soon as the circumstances were known, 
excited great sympathy, and every aid that could be given to them 
was at once afforded. Among the passengers in the schooner was 
Major Laing, the distinguished African traveller, who at once 
offered his mediation to bring about a restoration of peace. British 

8 



LIBERIA. 

influence was then, and still is, powerful along* that coast ; and the 
hostile chiefs, humbled by two defeats, were glad to accept the 
terms proposed by Major Laing. Peace was concluded, and a good 
understanding for the first time seemed to prevail between the 
colonists and the natives. Some fear of treachery, however, was 
still entertained ; and when the schooner departed, on the 4th of 
December, midshipman Gordon with eleven sailors volunteered 
to remain behind, to watch over the execution of the treaty, and 
protect the colony. But these warm-hearted seamen were destined 
only to swell the dismal list of victims who have perished in this 
benevolent work. Within four weeks after the sailing of the 
schooner, Gordon and eight of his men, struck down by the 
poisonous malaria of the coast, were borne to their graves by the 
sorrowing colonists. A few months afterwards, an American 
man-of-war cast anchor in Montserrado Bay, and the officers and 
crew, animated by similar feelings, spent three weeks in strength- 
ening the fortifications, improving the buildings, attending the 
wounded, and otherwise assisting the colonists. By that time, 
the inevitable fever began its ravages. The surgeon was the first 
victim ; and though the vessel put to sea immediately, forty men 
of the crew died before the pestilence was subdued. Thus the 
Angel of Death guards the threshold of Africa from the tread of 
the conquering white race, and preserves the land as the future 
home of its own oppressed and far-scattered children ! 

Since this first struggle for existence, the colony has never been 
in serious danger from the hostilitv of the native tribes. Its chief 
town has not again been attacked, and the colonists now consider 
themselves as safe in it as they would be in America. Nor has 
there been another confederacy of many chiefs against the colony ; 
but, on several occasions, small outlying villages have been assailed 
by marauding chieftains, who have been unable to restrain their 
own warlike propensities or those of their followers. In two or 
three cases, these attacks have been incited by slave-dealers, who 
have found that the extension of the colony was putting an end to 
their atrocious traffic. The result has been, in every case, that 
the volunteer or militia forces of the colony, usually headed by the 
governor in person, have been able to subdue the enemy and put 
an end to the war, if such it could be called, in one or two com- 
bats. One reason of the speedy success of the Liberians in their 
wars, is to be found in the circumstance that they make no con- 
quests, and exact no indemnities. All the land they possess has 
been purchased in time of peace. A hostile chief \ who ceases 
to fight and is willing to come to terms, is allowed to retain his 
land, usually on condition of submitting to the general laws of the 
colony. Many chiefs and tribes have sought this union with the 
colony as a favour, hoping* to find themselves thus protected from 
the attacks of their more powerful neighbours. In this way, as 
well as by frequent purchases of land with funds supplied from 

America and from this countrv, the authorifcv of the colony has 
No. 57. fc * 9 



LIBERIA. 

been gradually extended over about a quarter of a million of the 
native inhabitants. 

One other important event in Mr Ashmun's administration 
remains to be noticed. It has been seen how that gentleman, a 
student and a writer of books, suddenly displayed great energy 
and large mental resources in the performance of the practical 
duties of his office. It might have been expected that he would 
be found still more at home in whatever concerned the theory of 
government. Curiously enough, it was in this alone that he 
failed. He did not perceive that, to insure the complete success 
of any colony, but, above all, of a colony like Liberia, it was 
essential that the settlers should have, in a great measure, if not 
entirely, the management of their own affairs ; and he greatly 
underrated the capacity of the colonists for self-government. By 
a rather strange oversight, although the colony was founded for 
the purpose of testing the ability of the coloured people to govern 
themselves, no provision had been made by the Colonisation 
Society for enabling the first emigrants to take any part in its 
public administration. The society's agent had absolute power in 
the settlement. During the first year of danger and distress, the 
common perils and labours occupied the attention of all ; and little 
heed was given to other subjects, however important. But at 
length when peace was restored and trade commenced with the 
natives, when new settlers arrived and fresh distributions of land 
took place, the natural interest which free citizens must feel in the 
affairs of their community began to be awakened. Some acts of 
the agent excited dissatisfaction. The colonists demurred to his 
exercise of absolute authority, and demanded a share in the 
government. At length the excitement became a mutiny. Mr 
Ashmun met it with his usual energy, and partially repressed it 
by a fervid and solemn appeal to the gratitude and reason of the 
colonists, reminding them of the duties which they owed to the 
parent association, and of the evils which would follow if they 
should then break off their connection with the society. 'The 
authority of the United States and the Colonisation Society/ he 
finally warned them, i must be re-established in all its perfection 
on this cape, or you must scatter and perish.' The appeal pro- 
duced a considerable effect. The mutineers submitted; but the 
discontent was not allaj^ed. 

Happily, just at this time the Colonisation Society had deter- 
mined to repair the original omission in their plans. Some inkling 
of the state of affairs in the colony had reached home, and it was 
determined to send out a special agent, with full powers for the 
redress of grievances. The Rev. Mr Gurley undertook this office, 
and executed it in a manner which produced a very beneficial effect. 
Of Mr Ashmun's general system of management, he found every 
reason for approving; and he persuaded that gentleman to give 
up his intention of returning to the United States, and continue 
in charge of the settlement. But on the self-government question, 
10 



LIBERIA. 



Mr Gurley perceived that the colonists were in the rig'ht. Assem- 
bling* all the men, to the number of about 100, in their little 
church, he laid before them the plan of a constitution, by which 
the election of all public officers, except the agent (or governor) 
and two magistrates, was to be committed, under certain regula- 
tions, to the colonists. The supremacy of the society was still 
insisted upon, for the present ; but there was no probability that 
it would be exercised in a manner opposed to the wishes of the 
settlers. The plan was cordially accepted by the colonists; and 
all discontent vanished as soon as it was put in operation. 

Mr Gurley, it should here be stated, besides a constitution, 
brought out also an appropriate name for the settlement. Hitherto, 
it had commonly been known as the Montserrado Colony ; but 
the society had determined to rechristen it by the attractive and 
significant appellation of Liberia — the Land of Freedom. The 
chief town, or Cape Montserrado, received the name of Monrovia, 
in token of gratitude to President Monroe, who had done all 
that lay in his power to favour the society's undertaking. The 
progress of the colony during the remainder of Mr Ashmun's 
term of office was in every way satisfactory. Peace was main- 
tained with the natives, and a profitable trade was opened with 
the tribes of the interior. Frequent arrivals of emigrants from 
America strengthened the colony, and led to the formation of new 
settlements. Most of these were on the St Paul's River, a fine 
stream which flows into the ocean near Montserrado Bay. The 
settlers now began to apply themselves to agricultural labours, 
to which many of them had been accustomed in America. Some 
failures were experienced by the cultivators before they learned to 
adapt their methods to the soil and climate of their new country. 
Their crops were swept away by floods, devoured by insects, or 
laid waste by troops of antelopes, monkeys, and porcupines from 
the surrounding forests. But in time the means of preventing 
these disasters were discovered ; and plantations of rice, maize, 
sweet potatoes, bananas, oranges, and various other vegetables 
and fruit-trees, were found to yield ample returns for the labour 
bestowed upon them. 

In March 1828, Mr Ashmun was compelled, by the failure of 
his health, to quit the colony. The people, who had become 
warmly attached to him, accompanied him in a body to the ship, 
and took a last leave of him with many demonstrations of sorrow. 
He survived to reach his native country, and died a few days 
afterwards at Newhaven, in Connecticut, where a monument 
has since been erected to his memory by the Colonisation Society. 
His successors in the government of the colony for the next ten 
years— Dr Randall, Mr Mechlin, the Rev. Mr Pinney, and Dr 
Skinner — appear to have been animated by a similar zeal, and to 
have conducted the affairs of the colony with discretion and good 
success. The first named of these gentlemen died in office ; the 
others withdrew in failing health, after two or three vears of 

ii 



LIBERIA. 

service. The history of the colony during* this period comprises 
only the usual incidents — frequent purchases of territory, particu- 
larly along* the coast, with a view of suppressing- the slave-trade ; 
the arrival of emigrant ships ; the formation of new settlements ; 
the building* of churches and schools ; with occasionally some 
breach of the peace by a turbulent native chief, who, after being 
summarily put down by the Liberian volunteers, was usually glad 
to be received into favour and made a Liberian citizen. 

But while the colony was thus prospering, the society to which 
it owed its existence underwent some remarkable vicissitudes. At 
the outset, its object and plans were regarded with much favour 
in the United States. Even those who doubted its success were 
disposed to admire the benevolence of its founders, whose good 
intentions were not questioned. Such continued to be the state of 
public feeling in regard to the Colonisation Society during the 
first ten or twelve years of its existence. At that time, although 
slavery, in the abstract, had few defenders in America, the strong 
and lively anti-slavery feeling which now exists had not been 
awakened. It appears to have been first aroused by the indirect 
influence of the Colonisation Society. That association, being sus- 
tained entirely by voluntary contributions, was obliged, of course, 
to appeal frequently to the public for support, either through 
newspapers and other periodicals, or in public meetings. One of 
the topics on which writers and speakers, in advocating its claims, 
touched most frequently, was of course the evils of slavery, which 
the society hoped to mitigate, and perhaps finally to remove. The 
misery and hopeless degradation of two or three millions of slaves, 
and the disgrace of tolerating such injustice in a land of liberty, 
furnished a theme on which the orators and writers of the societv 
could dilate with powerful effect. In fact, the effect which their 
appeals produced was much greater than they anticipated or 
desired. Some of their hearers, men of logical minds and ardent 
tempers, began to ask why, if slavery was so great an evil, and 
so evident an injustice, its existence should be tolerated for a 
day. Should they delay to do justice until two or three millions 
of persons could be transported to Africa ? What proof had they 
that the instant release o± all the slaves in America would do anv 
serious injury to the country ? And if they could be certain that 
it would, ought they not to do what was right, regardless of con- 
sequences? By such inquiries and arguments, the anti-slavery 
sentiment which has agitated the Union for the last twenty years 
was first aroused. It might have been expected that the advocates 
of the immediate abolition of slavery, if they did not think proper 
to aid the Colonisation Society, would at least have regarded it 
with some favour, seeing that one of its objects was to prove the 
capacity of the African race for enjoying the privileges of freedom 
without abusing* them. The abolitionists, however, took a very 
different view of the question. They denounced the Colonisation 
Societv as the worst enemv of the coloured man, whether slave or 

13 



LIBERIA. 

free. It was, they affirmed, a slaveholders' association, and its 
real object was to relieve the slave states of their free coloured 
population, whose presence alarmed and annoyed the slave-owners, 
and stimulated the slaves to recover their liberty. The unfortu- 
nate creatures committed to the society's charge, they declared, 
were transported to a barbarous and unhealthy coast, and there 
left to perish in misery. By withdrawing" the free people of 
colour from the country, the society would deprive the slaves of 
the sympathy and assistance of this portion of their race, and 
render their situation more hopeless than it was before. These 
and similar statements were reiterated everywhere throughout the 
northern or free states, and with an eiFect very injurious to the 
Colonisation Society, which found itself, like Frankenstein in the 
romance, pursued or confronted in every movement by a terrible 
and unrelenting* enemv, which it had itself called into existence. 

Many ministers, of various religious denominations, had been 
accustomed to recommend the society to the liberality of their 
congregations, or to allow the society's agents to occupy their 
pulpits for this purpose. But after the awakening of the anti- 
slavery excitement, this custom was generally discontinued. In 
most of the states, there had previously been auxiliary societies, 
which sent their contributions to the central society at Washington. 
During* the i abolition storm,' as the society's directors term it, 
nearly the whole of these affiliated associations suspended their 
operations, and some of them dropped out of existence altogether. 
Many of the early friends of the cause became estranged from 
it, and discontinued their subscriptions. The receipts of the 
society fell off; it became embarrassed, and had to compound with 
its creditors. By many persons it was supposed to be extinct; 
and the experiment which its founders had undertaken was 
generally considered to be a failure. 

But as the society had unexpectedly called into being the enemy 
which nearly destroyed it, so in like manner it had created the 
support by which it was afterwards uplifted into an equally 
unexpected prosperity. It owed its revival from its temporary 
depression to the colony which it had founded. Every one who 
has paid attention to the general subject of colonisation, is aware of 
the astonishing vitality and elasticity which characterise a colony 
that has once been fairly established. Take a few hundred families 
out of any civilised community, set them down in a new country 
with plenty of fertile land open to them, and after leaving* them 
to themselves for a few years, the probability is that they will 
have become a flourishing and well-organised community, with 
good laws and institutions, well-cultivated farms, comfortable 
dwellings, and every other essential sign of prosperity. The 
wants and the opportunities of colonial life call into activity 
powers which the emigrant was not before conscious of possessing. 
He works harder and to better effect, thinks more deeply, and 
learns more readily, than he ever did at home. The whole colony 

13 



LIBERIA. 

gains, of course, by the improved character and condition of every 
individual settler. The progress of any new settlement, if placed 
in only moderately favourable circumstances, is usually so rapid as 
to surprise any observer who revisits it after an absence of 
ten years. Thus it happened in the case of Liberia. When 
the temporary decline of the Colonisation Society commenced, 
about the year 1830, it had already sent out between 2000 and 
3000 emigrants ; and even at the period of its greatest depression, 
the directors were able to add a few to this number every year. 
The colony's territory was gradually extended, and considerable 
numbers of natives voluntarily submitted to its jurisdiction. New 
villages grew up ; chapels and schools were built ; roads were 
opened ; small vessels were constructed and launched ; the trade 
of the colony steadily increased. At length, evidences of this 
progress began to become known in America and likewise in 
England — where, also, both the society and the colony were for a 
time under a cloud. The channels by which these evidences reached 
the public were of various kinds. Occasionally a colonist, who 
had accumulated a little fortune in Liberia, went over to America 
to find his relatives, and bring them back with him to the colony. 
Then a body of coloured men in the United States, anxious to 
ascertain the truth, sent out two of their number to the colony as a 
deputation, who brought back a most favourable report. English 
and American naval officers, who had landed in the colonial ports, 
gave their unimpeachable testimony, in language evincing equal 
surprise and gratification at the signs of industry, good govern- 
ment, and civilisation which they had witnessed. Sometimes a 
worthy merchant -captain, after strolling through the cheerful 
streets of Monrovia, dining sumptuously with some colonial official, 
and driving bargains with the civic traders for his cargo, would 
return home to furnish his friends and the newspapers with a 
wonderful story about a thriving town of black citizens on the 
African coast, where he did not hear a profane word during his 
whole stay, and could not induce a human being to work for him 
on a Sunday for love or money. When these and similar reports 
had begun to revive the public interest which had formerly been 
felt for the colony, other evidence, of a different kind, fixed the 
attention of all parties, and produced a most favourable and a 
decisive effect. 

The first elective institutions of Liberia were of a simple kind, 
suitable for a small and compact settlement. The colonists chose 
a vice-agent, two councillors, a high-sheriff, a registrar, and a 
treasurer ; and with the aid of these officers, the agent, appointed 
by the Colonisation Society, managed the affairs of the little com- 
munity. But the colony had, in twelve years, increased consider- 
ably in population and extent. New settlements had been founded 
at a distance from the chief town. It became expedient to unite 
them all under one system of administration, and at the same time 
to enlarge the basis of the representative government. A new 

14 



LIBERIA. 



constitution was drafted for this purpose by the directors of the 
society. Under this constitution, the governor of the colony was 
to be appointed and paid by the society, and was to be, ex officio, 
chief-justice. A lieutenant-governor was to be elected by the 
people. The legislative power was to reside in a council of ten. 
representatives, chosen by the electors of the two counties, Mont- 
serrado and Bassa, into which the colony was then divided. The 
Colonisation Society had the power of revoking any law passed by 
this legislature ; but for several years before the colony became 
independent, this right was not once exercised. The new con- 
stitution was established in 1839. In April of that year, Mr 
Thomas Buchanan, the first and only white governor who held 
office under this constitution, arrived in the colony. He managed 
its affairs, during a little more than two years, with excellent 
judgment. His administration was the commencement of a new 
era in the colony's existence. The energies and intelligence of 
the colonies were wonderfully quickened by the influence of free 
and orderly political discussions. In the first session of the new 
legislature, an act was passed, providing for the establishment of 
a common school in every township of the colony. Provision 
was also made, at public expense, for the support and maintenance 
of 'aged widows, destitute orphans, poor persons, and invalids/ 
in a public asylum, to which a workhouse and a school should be 
attached. A post-office department was established, and the 
colonial secretary was appointed postmaster-general. Liberia at 
this time contained nine towns, in which were twenty-one 
churches, ten day-schools, and many Sabbath-schools. There 
were four printing-presses in the colony, and two newspapers. 
One of these, the Liberia Herald, had been established ten years 
before by a well-educated colonist, Mr Russwurm, who was 
afterwards governor of the new settlement known as Maryland 
in Liberia. One of Governor Buchanan's first acts was to break 
up a slave-traders' factory at Bassa Cove. The factory was de- 
fended, not only by the traders, but by a large body of well-armed 
natives, whom they had induced to join them. The Liberian 
volunteers forced their way into the barracoon, drove out the 
defenders into the forest, attacked them there, and dispersed them, 
and finally compelled the native chief to sign a treaty, binding- 
him never again to take part in the slave-trade. In this contest, 
one man was killed and six wounded in the Liberian force. On 
a subsequent occasion, another powerful slave-trading chief made 
a sudden and murderous attack on a native village, which was 
under the protection of the colony. Several of the harmless 
inhabitants were killed, and others were carried into captivity. 
Governor Buchanan mustered a force of 300 colonists, with a 
troop of natives to carry the baggage, and marched against the 
enemy's stronghold, situated about forty miles inland. Though 
Mr Buchanan accompanied the expedition, the military command 
was given to a young colonist, Mr Joseph John Roberts, whose 

15 



LIBERIA. 

distinguished abilities and estimable character had already gained 
for him the confidence both of his fellow-colonists and of the 
governor. On this occasion, his dispositions were so skilfully 
made, and the onset of the volunteers was so impetuous, that the 
wall of the enemy's fortress was scaled and the town captured 
with a suddenness that astonished the victors themselves. Two 
of the assailants were killed in the action. The captives were set 
free, the town was burned, and the troops returned to the colony. 
So great was the effect of this blow in inspiring* the natives with 
a respect for the military prowess of the colonists, that several 
chiefs, with their followers, came to place themselves under the 
protection of the colony ; and for more than twenty years after- 
wards, no serious collision took place between the colony and any 
native tribe. 

Mr Buchanan died of the African fever in 1841, universally 
regretted. Mr Roberts was at that time lieutenant-governor. 
The official duties of the deceased governor devolved upon him 
until a successor should be appointed by the Colonisation Society. 
The society, however, wisely continued Mr Roberts in the office. 
From that time to the present, a period of twelve years, all the 
public offices of the colony have been filled by men of colour. 
The experiment, which was to test the capacity of a community 
of that class for self-government, may be said to have commenced 
from this period. The fact was known in America, and naturally 
excited much interest ; and this interest was greatly heightened 
when the c messages ' of Governor Roberts to the colonial legisla- 
ture, and his dispatches to the society's directors, were published. 
Extracts from them were reprinted in the newspapers, and pro- 
duced a great sensation, highly advantageous to the colony, and 
to the general scheme of colonisation. Some of these documents 
have been read by many persons in this country, who are aware 
of their remarkable merits. It is no exaggeration, they will 
admit, to say, that the public writings of Governor Roberts will 
compare favourably, in point of clearness of statement and force 
of reasoning, with the best state-papers of our time. Here, then, 
was evidence which could not be overlooked or explained away, 
either by the depredators of the African race, or by the enemies 
of the colonisation scheme. Governor Roberts, it was generally 
known, was born in Virginia. His parents were both free persons 
of African descent. In the year 1829, when he was eighteen 
years of age, his mother, with her children, emigrated to Liberia. 
His intellectual culture had been nearly all obtained in the colony, 
and his political experience had been wholly acquired there. 
He was evidently a fair specimen of the class of public men 
whom the colony might be expected to produce. The letters of 
other intelligent Liberians, published at the same time, sufficed 
to shew that Governor Roberts was not a remarkable exception, 
or very strikingly superior in ability to his fellow-colonists. The 
favourable reaction in public opinion now became very rapid ; 

16 



LIBERIA. 

nobody could doubt that the colonisation experiment had thus farr 
proved successful ; the largest hopes of its most ardent advocates 
ceased to be considered visionary. The opinion began to prevail, 
that the fearful and perplexing anomaly of negro slavery in 
republican America, would be, in some manner or other, removed 
through the success of this experiment. Many persons saw reason 
for believing that the whole coloured population of the United 
States would in time be transferred to the shores of Africa : while, 
on the other hand, the far-sighted advocates of the immediate 
abolition of slavery beg*an to perceive that Liberia was about to 
supply them with their most powerful argument. The opposition 
from this quarter gradually abated ; the travelling agents of the 
society found themselves again received with favour in all parts of 
the country ; the collections rapidly increased. At length, in the 
annual report of January 1846, the directors had the satisfaction, 
for the h'rst time in many years, of announcing that the society 
was out of debt, and had a handsome surplus in its treasury. The 
various local societies in the several states were now revived, and 
new ones were formed. The Colonisation Society of Massachusetts 
mention, in their report for 1847, that their agent, the Rev. Dr 
Tenney, had recently advocated their cause before 139 congrega- 
tions in that state, and before nine ministerial associations — ' a 
mighty change,' they add, ' since the time, but a few years ago, 
when not six pulpits in the state were open to us, and not a single 
ecclesiastical body would listen to an argument in favour of 
opening them, or of allowing us any other privilege.' 

While this change of feeling was taking place in America, events 
were occurring in Africa which were destined to awaken a strong 
interest in other countries for the colony, and to exert a favourable 
influence upon its fortunes. The British government had observed 
with pleasure the gradual extension of a settlement, which was 
evidently doing* much to check the slave-trade in its vicinity. 
Complaints, however, began to be made by British traders on the 
coast, that their commerce with the natives was checked by the 
import duties, levied by the new legislature of the colony, for the 
support of the colonial government. The question of the legality 
of these imposts at once arose. Had the settlement been a 
recognised dependency of the United States, or had it, on the 
other hand, been an independent state, there would have been 
no doubt about the matter : in either case, its government would 
have had a perfect right to impose these taxes within the limits 
of the colony ; but it was just as clear that a mere collection of 
private individuals could have no such right. In September 1844, 
Commodore Jones, who then commanded the British squadron on 
the coast of Africa, apprised Governor Roberts of the decision of 
the British government. The letter was couched in terms of great 
courtesy and kindness. The respectable character and benevolent 
purposes of the Colonisation Society were acknowledged, and the 
governor was assured of the sympathy and cordial satisfaction with 



LIBERIA. 

which the progress of the settlement had been remarked in Great 
Britain. But he was told, while the British government would 
fully recognise the rights of property on that coast, as they might 
appear to be acquired by purchase, it could not admit that pro- 
perty so acquired could confer sovereign rights upon a private 
association, or justify the imposition of state duties, or the exclusion 
of British commerce from its accustomed resorts. 

This decision was evidently well founded ; and, soon after it was 
announced, some perplexing circumstances happened which shewed 
the necessity of settling the difficulty without delay. A British 
merchant-captain landed some goods in Bassa Cove, and refused 
to pay the harbour dues, on the ground that these charges were 
illegal. The collector, thereupon, seized a portion of the goods 
equivalent to these duties ; and the trader left the harbour to report 
the case to Commodore Jones. By an extraordinary mischance, a 
British man-of-war brig came into the harbour on the following 
day, seized a small coasting schooner belonging to a respectable 
colonist, and sent it off to Sierra Leone, on the ground that it was 
engaged in the slave-trade. The colonists were naturally thrown 
into great consternation, believing* that the seizure had been made 
by way of reprisal, and that the ground alleged for it was a mere 
pretence. Even the subsequent release of the schooner by the 
vice-admiralty court of Sierra Leone, with an official expression 
of regret for the seizure, did not wholly disabuse the minds of the 
colonists of this impression. At the next session of the Liberian 
legislature, the whole subject was brought under the consideration 
of that body by Governor Roberts. The council came to the 
conclusion, that the colony could not long continue to exist without 
possessing absolute political jurisdiction over its territory. This 
conclusion was communicated to the Colonisation Society, and its 
justice was so evident, that the society did not hesitate to adopt a 
resolution expressing its opinion, that ' the time had arrived when 
it was expedient for the people of the commonwealth of Liberia to 
take into their own hands the whole work of self-government, 
including the management of all their foreign relations.' The 
Liberian council on being apprised of this resolution, determined to 
submit the question to a general vote of the electors, who were to 
pronounce, by their ballots, whether the colony should be declared an 
independent state or not. This portion of Liberian history, it may 
be observed, offers a valuable lesson to every mother-country on 
the most effectual method of securing the affection of her colonies. 
The Colonisation Society was regarded by the Liberians as their 
home-government. The society had always treated them with 
the greatest consideration, and had left to them the uncontrolled 
management of their local affairs. So strong, consequently, was 
the attachment of the colonists to the society, that most of them 
were extremely unwilling to dissolve their connection with it. 
The leading* colonists saw the necessity for the step, but the others 
clung* to the home-government; and nothing but the positive 

18 



LIBERIA. 

assurance that the society itself considered the separation advisable, 
induced them to vote for it. Even under that persuasion, the 
majority in favour of independence was but small. It was, how- 
ever, legally sufficient ; and a convention was consequently called, 
in July 1847, to frame a new constitution for the nascent state, 
and to proclaim its independence to the world. These duties were 
performed in a satisfactory manner. A national flag* and seal were 
at the same time adopted by the convention. The flag 1 consists of 
red and white stripes alternately displayed, to denote, as in the 
American ensign, the number of the original states of the Union, 
in which, of course, the coloured as well as the white population 
dwelt at the time of the separation from Great Britain. In the 
upper and inner angle of the flag is a square blue ground, with a 
single white star in its centre. The seal of the state has for its 
device a dove on the wing, bearing in its claws an open scroll ; 
beneath is a view of the ocean, with a ship under sail, the sun just 
emerging from the waters ; and at one side is a palm-tree, with a 
plough and spade at its foot. Above the emblems is the national 
motto : i The love of liberty brought us here.' 

On the 24th of August 1847, the Liberian flag was for the first 
time hoisted on Cape Montserrado, with ceremonies and rejoicings 
appropriate and natural on such an occasion. A few weeks after- 
wards, it was saluted by English and American men-of-war in 
due form, as the ensign of an independent state. In September 
following, the new constitution was submitted to the vote of the 
people, and accepted by them ; and in the next month the first 
election of officers took place. Mr Roberts was chosen president 
of the republic. The first session of the new legislature was held 
in January 1848. A brief abstract of the Liberian constitution, 
which has hitherto been found to work very well, will not be 
considered out of place here. It is fashioned, as may be supposed, 
on the well-known American model. It commences with a l bill 
of rights/ comprising various miscellaneous provisions and 
maxims, some of them of an abstract character, and others of 
great practical importance. Thus, after announcing that ' all men 
are born equally free and independent/ that c all power is inherent 
in the people, all free governments are instituted by their autho- 
rity and for their benefit, and they have the right to alter and 
reform the same when their safety and happiness require it ? — 
this bill declares that l all men have a natural and inalienable 
right to worship God according to the dictates of their own con- 
sciences ; ? and ' no sect of Christians shall have exclusive privi- 
leges or preference over any other sect, but all shall be alike 
tolerated; and no religious test whatever shall be required as a 
qualification for civil office or the exercise of any civil right/ 
Slavery is not to exist within the republic, and all dealing in 
slaves, directly or indirectly, is forbidden to citizens of the state or 
to persons resident in it. No person is to be deprived of fife, 
liberty, property, or privilege but by judgment of his peers, or 

19 



LIBERIA. 

the law of the land. All elections are to be by ballot, and f every 
male citizen of twenty-one years of age, possessing* real estate, 
shall have the right of suffrage.' It should be observed, in 
reference to this provision, that every colonist, on arriving in 
Liberia from America, receives a few acres of land. The suffrage, 
at present, is therefore virtually universal. But it is obvious that, 
as population becomes dense, a large and intelligent class must be 
gradually formed in the towns, consisting* of persons who are 
occupiers but not owners of real estate, and who will be disfran- 
chised by this provision. It may be presumed that an amendment 
will then be made to suit this change of circumstances. 

The right of holding public meetings, the subordination of the 
military to the civil power, the liberty of the press, the right of 
bail, except for capital offences, and the benefit of the writ of 
habeas corpus, are all guaranteed by this bill of rights. 

The frame of government is divided into three distinct depart- 
ments — legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislature con- 
sists of two branches — a senate and a house of representatives. 
The senate is composed of two members from each county, there 
being at present three counties in the republic — Montserrado, 
Bassa, and Sinoe. The members of the senate hold their seats for 
four years, one half of them going* out of office every two years. 
A senator must be an inhabitant of the county which he repre- 
sents, must be twenty-five years of ag*e, and must own real estate 
of not less value than 200 dollars, or about L.40. The senate, in 
addition to the legislative power which it possesses concurrently 
with the house of representatives, has the exclusive functions of 
trying impeachments, confirming all appointments of public officers 
made by the president, and sanctioning treaties. The members of 
the house of representatives are to be apportioned among the 
several counties in the ratio of their population ; and in addition, 
every town of 10,000 inhabitants is to have a representative. 
They are to be elected for three years. A representative must be 
an inhabitant of the county in which he is elected, must be 
twenty-three years of age, and must possess real property of not 
less value than 150 dollars — about L.30. Both senators and 
representatives are to receive a compensation for their services, to 
be fixed by law. A bill or resolution, after passing both houses, 
is to be signed by the president before it becomes a law. If he 
does not approve it, he returns it to the legislature with his objec- 
tions ; and should the legislature then pass it by a vote of two- 
thirds in each branch, it becomes a law. 

The president, who exercises the ' supreme executive power,' is 
elected by the people for the term of two years. He must be 
thirty-five years of age, and must possess ' unencumbered real 
estate ' of the value of 600 dollars, or about L.120. He receives 
for his services a compensation 6 which shall neither be increased 
nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been 
elected.' He is commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and 

20 



LIBERIA. 

he makes treaties and appoints public functionaries — including' 
ambassadors, secretaries of state, judges, sheriffs, coroners, and 
justices of the peace— with the concurrence of the senate: but all 
these officers, except the judges, may be removed by the president 
at his pleasure. A vice-president, having* the same qualifications 
as the president, is elected for the same term, and succeeds to the 
office in case of the president's removal, resignation, or death. At 
other times, the vice-president acts as speaker of the senate. The 
judicial department is composed of one supreme court, and such 
subordinate courts as the legislature may from time to time 
establish. All the judges hold their seats during good behaviour, 
but may be removed by the president on the address of two-thirds 
of both houses, or by impeachment. The salaries of the judges 
are established by law, and may be increased, but not diminished, 
during their continuance in office. They are to receive no other 
perquisites or emoluments on account of the duties required of 
them. 

Then come some miscellaneous sections : two — rather singular 
provisions to be inserted in a constitution — declare that the private 
property of a woman shall not be held responsible for her hus- 
band's debts, whether contracted before or after marriage; and 
that the widow of an insolvent person shall be entitled to one- 
third of the real estate during her life, and one-third of the 
personal estate as her absolute property. 

c The great object of forming these colonies being to provide a 
home for the dispersed and oppressed children of Africa, and to 
regenerate and enlighten this benighted continent, none but 
persons of colour shall be admitted to citizenship in this republic' 

It will be seen that this is a system of pure republicanism, 
though not, properly speaking, of pure democracy, inasmuch 
as the power of the electoral majority is limited by numerous 
artificial checks. These restraints are, however, self-imposed, 
and there is no doubt that the system is one which requires 
great intelligence, moderation, and self-control in the people 
who are to manage it. Thus far, the experiment hns undoubt- 
edly been successful. The government of the republic, during 
the four years of its independent existence, has been conducted 
with much prudence, and the settlement has been more pros- 
perous than at any former period. The most important events in 
its recent history may here be briefly narrated. 

After the close of the first session of the Liberian legislature, 

President Roberts left the colony on an official visit to America 

and Europe, with the object of procuring the recognition of the 

new state. He arrived in the United States in May 1848, and 

was very well received. The prejudice against colour seems, in 

his case, to have been quite put aside for the time — a fact shewing 

the purely accidental and ephemeral nature of this prejudice. The 

civic authorities of Boston and New York paid him attentions as 

honourable to themselves as to him. The national government 

21 



LIBERIA. 

evinced an equally favourable disposition, but did not formally 
recognise the republic. The refusal was dictated not by any 
unkindly feelings, but by obvious motives of state policy. The 
presence of a black ambassador at Washington might, it was sup- 
posed, exert a dangerous influence upon the minds of the coloured 
people, and dispose them to assert their claims to freedom and to 
equal political rights with the white citizens. It is doubted, 
however, by many persons, whether this effect would be really 
produced. They are of opinion, that the sight of a coloured 
minister from Liberia, holding, as he must, a respectable position 
in American society, would rather induce the more intelligent 
members of the coloured class in that country to desire to emigrate 
to the African republic ; and this is the very result which American 
statesmen are now anxious to bring about. It is, therefore, now 
supposed that the recognition of Liberia by the American govern- 
ment will not be long delayed. 

From the United States, Mr Roberts came to England, where 
his reception was perfectly satisfactory. The republic was at once 
recognised, and a very liberal commercial treaty was concluded. 
The British government presented a beautiful cutter, mounting 
four guns, to the new state ; and authorised me president to call 
upon the ships of the African coast squadron for assistance 
whenever he required it, for breaking up any slave-trading* 
establishments on that coast. The reception which Mr Roberts 
experienced in private society, is shewn by the following extract 
from a letter written at that time by an American gentleman in 
this country to a friend in the United States, where it was pub- 
lished. The letter also records an act of munificent generosity, 
which ought not to pass unnoticed : — 1 1 do not recollect whether 
I have already told you of the very interesting interview which 
Mr Roberts had with the Bishop of London, and also what took 
place at the Prussian ambassador's house, where the president 
dined with Lord Ashley, Mr Gurney, and others. The bishop 
was exceedingly interested in what the president told him, and 
took down notes of the conversation, which filled three sides of a 
large sheet of paper. He promised all the aid in missionary efforts 
possible. At Chevalier Bunsen's table, Mr Roberts sat beside the 
excellent and benevolent Lord Ashley, who was very minute in 
his inquiries about Liberia and the suppression of the slave-trade. 
Mr Roberts told him, the most effectual way to put down the latter 
would be to purchase the Gallinas territory, which is between the 
Sierra Leone colony and the republic of Liberia, and thus 700 
miles of coast would be for ever guaranteed against the slave-trade. 
His lordship asked how much money would buy it ; to which Mr 
Roberts replied, L.2000 would be ample to do the thing perfectly. 
Lord Ashley said the enterprise must be set about immediately ; 
and, after they rose from the table, he went to Mr Gurney, and 
proposed to him to buy and present this territory to the new 
republic. Mr Gurney received the proposition favourably, and 

22 



LIBERIA. 

requested Mr Roberts to call upon him in Lombard Street next 
morning 1 , when Mr Gurney gave him an obligation for half of the 
amount, L.1000, and a kind of promise that if the British govern- 
ment did not make the purchase for President Roberts, he himself 
would see that the purchase was made on his own responsibility, 
if he could not get some friends to join him in effecting this im- 
portant object. I have now the pleasure to add, that when I called 
upon Mr Gurney a few days ago, he informed me that such 
arrangements have been made as will secure the acquisition of the 
Gallinas to the republic of Liberia. 7 This desirable object, it may 
here be stated, has since been accomplished. The slave-factories 
at Gallinas, which had once before been broken up by Captain 
Denman, R.N., were completely destroyed, in September 1849, 
by Commander Dunlop, of Her Majesty's ship Alert, who liberated 
about 1200 slaves, and conveyed away all the European traders to 
Sierra Leone. The native chiefs shortly afterwards transferred 
the sovereignty of their country to the Liberian government, and 
the slave-trade in that quarter was thus effectually extinguished. 

From London, Mr Roberts proceeded to Paris, where he was 
received with similar kindness by General Cavaignac and other 
members of the government. The independence of Liberia was 
acknowledged, and the commanders of French ships of war on the 
African coast were instructed to assist the president in his efforts 
for putting down the slave-trade, and maintaining peace upon the 
coast. Mr Roberts afterwards visited Belgium, and attended the 
Peace Congress, which was then assembled at Brussels. Being 
called upon to address the congress, Mr Roberts made a speech 
which was much admired for its good sense, appropriateness, and 
prepossessing manner of delivery. On his return to England, 
having accomplished the duties of his mission in a way highly 
advantageous to his new country, he was offered a passage 
to Liberia in Her Majesty's ship Amazon, and accordingly, in 
December 1848, sailed in that vessel for the colony. 

The Liberian republic has since been recognised by the govern- 
ments of Prussia and Brazil. A Brazilian charge d'affaires, the 
Chevalier Niteroi, arrived in Liberia in 1852. An American 
paper, in noticing his appointment, observes : ' The chevalier is a 
captain in the Brazilian navy, and has served on the coast of Africa., 
There his sympathies became enlisted in the cause of African colo- 
nisation, and he has returned to Africa as the representative of his 
nation, with authority to recognise the independence of Liberia, 
and form treaties of alliance and commerce. He is also charged 
with the duty of establishing- a colony of free blacks on the coast, 
under the auspices of that country.' This fact is worthy of notice, 
as an evidence of the sincerity of the Brazilian government in its 
endeavours to suppress the slave-trade. 

Mr Roberts has been twice re-elected to the presidency for terms 
of two years. A brief account of the principal events which dis- 
tinguished one year of his last term of office will give some idea of 

23 



LIBERIA. 

the multifarious duties which a Liberian president has to perform. 
In December 1851, Mr Roberts delivered his annual i message ' to 
the Liberian legislature. He reviewed in this document, at con- 
siderable length, the progress of the commonwealth during the 
previous year, and pronounced it to have been in most respects 
highly satisfactory. The only serious drawback arose out of the 
conduct of a few turbulent native chiefs, who had recently com- 
mitted acts of unprovoked hostility. They had treacherously 
attacked a small colonial settlement at Bassa Cove, and murdered 
nine of the inhabitants. Except in that quarter, the relations 
between the republic and the native tribes were on a most friendly 
footing. ' And g*enerally, ? adds the president, ' from a conviction 
that we consider them a part of ourselves, and cherish with 
sincerity their rights and interests, the attachment of the natives 
is daily gaining strength. Constant applications are being made 
to the government to supply them with school-teachers, and with 
other qualified persons to reside among them, to instruct them in 
the civilised modes of agriculture and the mechanic arts ; and it is 
a matter of deep reg*ret that the government, for want of pecuniary 
means, has not been able to meet their wishes, but to an exceed- 
ingly limited extent. 7 The president remarks, that l the cause of 
colonisation seems to be gaining favour in the United States/ but 
he regrets that the government of that country has not yet seen fit 
to acknowledge the independence of Liberia. He notices with 
pleasure several proofs recently afforded of the kind feelings 
entertained by the British government towards the republic. He 
mentions a proposal made by a benevolent association in America 
to establish a college in Liberia, if the legislature would incorporate 
it, and furnish it with certain endowments. He recommends a 
revision of the navigation and revenue laws, the taking of a census, 
and some regulations for the new postal arrangements with Great 
Britain and America. The public income for the past year is 
stated at 32,000 dollars (L.6400), and the expenditure at*34,000 
dollars (L.6800), the small deficiency being, however, more than 
covered by the surplus previously in the treasury. 

The session of the legislature could not have lasted many weeks, 
as in the early part of January we find Mr Roberts acting in his 
capacity of commander-in-chief of the army, in an expedition 
against the hostile chiefs, Grando and Boyer, the perpetrators or 
instigators of the massacre at Bassa Cove. These chiefs had 
assembled a formidable force, numbering 6 not less than 5000 
effective men.' The Liberian army consisted of 550 colonial 
volunteers, and about the same number of native troops. The 
history of the brief campaign cannot be better given than in the 
president's own words, as we find them in a published letter : c On 
the 6th instant [January 1852], we marched upon Grando's barri- 
caded town, where he had made every warlike preparation to 
receive us ; and which place he and his deluded followers believed 
impregnable. Within about two miles of the town, at a most 

24 



LIBERIA. 

difficult swamp we had to cross, he had constructed a substan- 
tial breast-work, which was defended by a large force of about 
three times our number. There Grando expected certainly to 
defeat us ; but our men behaved well, and, after an action of one 
hour and thirty-five minutes, drove them out. They retreated to 
another strong- position on the line of our march, and, as the head 
of our column cleared the heav.y forest intervening*, they opened 
upon us a heavy fire. They were, however, soon driven back, 
and panic-stricken fled to the town, two miles distant, which they 
iired immediately and dispersed, with instructions, as I afterwards 
learned, to join Boyer, of Trade-town. In these two attacks we 
had sixteen wounded, five badly? none mortally. Being* joined, 
on the morning* of the 15th instant, by the Second Regiment, which 
had been operating* separately in the upper part of the Bassa 
country, we commenced our march upon Boyer's principal town. 
No sooner had our advanced guard cleared the woods, and sighted 
the barricade, than the enemy opened upon us a tremendous fire of 
musketry and big* g-uns. The fire was promptly returned, and for 
an hour and three-quarters the conflict was desperate. We had to 
contend against fearful odds ; but the hand of divine Providence 
was on our side, and we gloriously triumphed. The loss of the 
enemy was very considerable ; Boyer had two brothers killed, and 
was himself badly wounded. We had four killed, and twenty- 
seven wounded — two since dead ; the others will all doubtless 
recover. I exceedingly regretted the necessity of this campaign, 
but it could not be avoided. The effect, however, will be most 
salutary. It will convince the aboriginal inhabitants of every part 
of the republic of the ability of the government to maintain the 
majesty of the laws, and punish crime wherever committed within 
its jurisdiction.' 

Having* thus successfully performed the military part of his 
duties, the hard-worked president had next to turn his attention to 
his diplomatic functions. In connection with these hostilities, 
some difficulties had arisen with two or three English traders, who 
claimed certain portions of land at Bassa Cove, and who objected 
to pay import duties on the goods which they sold to the natives. 
This was a claim which, if sustained, would have been fatal to 
the authority, and ruinous to the revenue of the republic. The 
Liberians were naturally disquieted, being uncertain of the view 
which the British government might take of these disputed points. 
Under these circumstances, they adopted the judicious resolution 
of laying the whole case fully before that government. President 
Roberts sailed in May 1852 for England, where, on his arrival, 
he found the same friendly disposition existing as had been mani- 
fested on his former visit. All the points about which questions 
had been raised, were settled to his satisfaction, with much less 
delay than is usually exacted in diplomatic discussions. As on the 
former occasion, the government offered the president a passage to 
Liberia in a vessel of the royal navy. Such an offer was not a 

25 



LIBERIA. 

mere empty honour, as it might have been in the case of a 
European ruler. There is reason to fear that white traders of all 
nations are too much disposed to look upon the Liberian settlers 
us an inferior race, and to treat them and their laws with a con- 
tempt and disregard which they would not venture to evince 
towards white colonists. Any. conspicuous public act, therefore, 
by which the greatest maritime power shewed a determination to 
reg*ard and treat the chief magistrate of Liberia as the representa- 
tive of an independent and respectable state, must have a very 
salutary effect. President Roberts left England in Her Majesty's 
steamer Dee, in the early part of November 1852. Thus, in less 
than twelve months, he had held a session of the Liberian legis- 
lature, had conducted a difficult and laborious military expedition, 
and had completed an important diplomatic mission to a country 
5000 miles distant from Liberia. And what will to some seem 
the circumstance most surprising of all is the fact, that these 
various functions of president, commander-in-chief, and ambas- 
sador-extraordinary, have been thus satisfactorily performed by an 
officer receiving* the very modest salary of L.300 a year. 

Having* thus brought the history of Liberia down to the latest 
period, our account of this infant state may be suitably concluded 
by a brief description of its present condition. 

In the statistics given at the commencement of this paper, 
the numbers include not only the area and population of the 
republic pf Liberia, properly so called, but also those of the neigh- 
bouring* settlement of Maryland in Liberia, concerning* which 
nothing* has vet been said. This settlement was commenced in 
the year 1834 by the Maryland State Colonisation Society, aided 
by an annual grant of 10,000 dollars (L.2000) from the treasury 
of the state. It was thought that the people of the state would 
take more interest in the enterprise if it were kept for a time 
distinct from that of the national society ; but as an ultimate union 
of the two settlements was expected, the name of ■ Maryland in 
Liberia' was given to the new colony. The experience derived 
in the formation of the older settlement enabled the promoters of 
the new undertaking* to avoid the mistakes and mischances which 
had proved injurious to the other at the outset. An eligible site 
was found at Cnpe Palmas, a small promontory or peninsula, 
situated about 300 miles south-east of Monrovia, at the point where 
the African coast changes its general direction from south-east to 
east. On this promontory, which is about half a mile long by a 
quarter of a mile wide, is situated the town of Harper, the capital 
of the settlement, containing about 800 inhabitants. On the main- 
land, at a distance of three or four miles, is a smaller town, with 
a fort and numerous farms. Care was taken, from the commence- 
ment, to keep on friendly terms with the natives : no serious 
differences have ever occurred ; and ten of the native chiefs, 
occupying all the territory for about fifty miles on each side of 
the settlement, have placed themselves and their people, estimated 

26 



LIBERIA. 

at about 100,000 souls, under the protection of the colony. From 
the beginning", the colonists have had almost the whole manage- 
ment of their public affairs. A bill of rights was sent out with 
the first ship, and a republican government was shortly afterwards 
instituted. The agent or governor is indeed appointed for the 
present by the society in America, but the councillors and other 
officers are elected by the people. Every man in the colony, 
twenty years old, has the right of voting, provided he holds land 
in his own right, or pays a tax of one dollar for the support of 
education. No man can sit on a jury who does not know how to 
read and write. The use of ardent spirits as a beverage is prohi- 
bited by law. On this point, the board of directors in America 
make the following observations in one of their early reports : — 
1 At the end of seven years, the board can speak confidently of the 
temperance principle, which they made a fundamental law of the 
colony when it was established ; and they firmly believe that, 
under Providence, the remarkable success that has attended the 
settlement — a success to which history affords no parallel — the 
harmony that has existed wuth the natives, and the general com- 
parative prosperity, are to be attributed to the strict observance of 
the colonial laws in this particular. By none can the importance 
of the temperance principle be more highly appreciated than it is 
by the emigrants themselves.' 

Along the whole sea-board of Liberia the land is generally low, 
and either marshy or sanely, though not deficient in fertility. There 
are, however, immediately on the coast, some conspicuous emi- 
nences, such as Cape Montserrado, rising 250 feet above the sea ; 
and Cape Mount, about 1000 feet in height. A few miles from 
the sea, the land becomes more elevated, and gradually rises into 
irregular hills and mountain summits. Of the distant interior, 
nothing is yet known except from the reports of the natives. On 
the latest maps, this part of Africa, lying north and east of Liberia, 
and covering an extent of about 200,000 square miles — equal to the 
whole area of France — is a blank. A line of mountains is, indeed, 
traced along its northern border, with the designation of the 
Mountains of Kong. Of the existence of this range, the number 
and direction of the rivers which intersect the country leave no 
doubt ; but beyond this circumstance, nothing is positively known. 
There is every reason to suppose, from the partial explorations 
that have been made, and from the accounts of the natives, that 
this region is a fine, elevated, fertile, well-wooded and well- 
watered country, occupied by a thin population, composed of small 
tribes, similar in character and in habits to those who dwell near 
the coast. As the Liberians have already begun to extend their 
settlements towards the interior, we may anticipate that at no 
very distant period the whole of this extensive country will be 
included within the limits of the republic. It deserves to be 
noticed, that on the north side of the Kong Mountains, about 300 
miles from Monrovia, the famous river, variously known as 

2/ 



LIBERIA. 

the Joliba, Quorra, or Niger, takes its rise. A time will doubtless 
come when this great navigable river, 2500 miles long*, will 
become the chief commercial highway of civilised Africa. 

There are no large rivers within the present limits of Liberia. 
There are, however, many fine streams, some of which are half a 
mile wide at a distance of fifty miles from the sea ; but none of 
these are navigable for boats more than' twenty miles from their 
mouths, their currents being obstructed by rapids. The St Paul's, 
the St John's, and the Junk, are the largest. The former, which 
falls into the sea a few miles north of Monrovia, is a beautiful 
stream, flowing through a picturesque and fertile country, in which 
many native hamlets and flourishing colonial villages are inter- 
mingled. The St Paul's, which is the chief river of Bassa County, 
is also a fine stream, studded with numerous islets, and bordered 
by a very productive country. 

The climate of Liberia is warm, but equable, tempered by frequent 
rains and daily sea-breezes. The year is divided into but two por- 
tions, known as the rainy season and the dry season. The former 
commences about the middle of May, and the latter about the 
middle of November. It should be understood, however, that this 
absolute distinction is in some degree to be qualified, as there are 
rainy days, and clear, pleasant days, in every month of the year. 
The dry season is the warmest, and January is the hottest month 
of the year ; the average height of the thermometer in that month 
is 85 degrees. June, on the other hand, is the wettest and 
the coldest month, the thermometer usually standing- at about 
75 degrees. Coloured emigrants from the United States do 
not find the heat in Liberia oppressive at any season ; and Dr 
Lugenbeel, a white man, states, that at the coldest season he 
generally found it necessary to wear woollen outer as well as under 
garments, and to sleep beneath thick covering at night- 
It is one of the most mysterious and unaccountable facts in phy- 
siology, that a climate which is fatal to one race of men, should be 
not only innocuous, but congenial to another. If white men could 
have lived in Africa between the tropics, the whole continent would 
doubtless have long since been subjected, like America, to the domi- 
nation of rulers of European origin. Many attempts have been made 
by different nations — Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, Danes, 
and Swedes — to establish settlements of white colonists on various 
intertropical portions of the African coast, and all have failed from 
the same cause — the deadly nature of the climate. Yet, at Sierra 
Leone and in Liberia, coloured men, whose ancestors for 200 years 
had resided within the temperate zone, find the climate salubrious, 
and live as lono- as others of their race in America. All emigrants* 
however, have to pass, shortly after their arrival, through, what is 
known to foreigners as the African coast fever, but in Liberia 
more commonly as the acclimating fever. It is a bilious remittent 
fever, which usually passes into the intermittent form. The first 
settlers suffered severely from this disease ; but now that its 

28 



LIBERIA. 



treatment is better understood, and that proper accommodations 
and attendance are provided, it has ceased to be so much dreaded 
as formerly. Two or three deaths, indeed, usually happen out of 
every hundred emigrants who arrive ; but it is observed that the 
fatal cases are almost always those of persons who were previously 
in bad health, or who neglected the simple precautions which are 
prescribed to new-comers. In many cases, on the other hand, the 
emigrants find their health sensibly improved by the change of 
country. 

The" vegetable productions of Liberia, natural and cultivated, are 
very numerous. In fact, it is said — and there is no reason for 
doubting the statement — that every species of tropical produce is 
found to thrive in that country. Rice is abundant, and is culti- 
vated on the high lands as well as on the low grounds near the 
coast. Indian corn, sweet-potatoes, cassada or cassava root, beans, 
peas, water-melons, pine-apples, oranges, lemons, guavas, mangoes, 
plantains, bananas, papaws, tamarinds, pomegranates, and a great 
variety of other edibles, aiford ample supplies for the tables of the 
inhabitants and for the demands of shipping*. Among articles 
which already yield valuable exports, or are likely hereafter to 
do so, are mentioned coffee, cotton, sugar, ginger, pepper, indigo, 
ground-nuts, and arrow-root. Nearly all these productions are 
indigenous in the country. The wild coffee-tree may frequently 
be met with in the woods ; it is the same species as that ordinarily 
reared in other parts of the world, but may be much improved by 
cultivation. Several of the colonists have applied themselves to 
this branch of agriculture, which may be carried on with smaller 
means than are required for the cultivation of sugar or cotton, 
though both of these have been tried by a few individuals, and 
with good success. Specimens of Liberian coffee, which have 
been sent to the United States, have been pronounced by good 
judges equal to the best received from the East or West Indies. 
It must be remembered, however, that the population of Liberia 
has hitherto been too small to warrant the expectation of any large 
amount of agricultural exports from the settlement. Some 8000 
or 10,000 emigrants, of both sexes and all ages, have had to per- 
form the work of founding a dozen settlements along 500 miles of 
coast— clearing away the forest, building habitations, raising food 
for themselves and for a continual accession of new settlers, pre- 
serving* peace among the native tribes, framing and executing* 
laws, and labouring as teachers, physicians, traders, and mechanics 
of every description. The duty of the first generation of settlers 
has been to prepare the country for the residence of the thousands 
of emigrants who are expected to follow them, and most of whom, 
as they arrive, will naturally direct their attention to the ag*rieul- 
tural pursuits which they followed in America. There can be but 
little doubt that cotton, sugar, coffee, and other tropical products, 
will in a few years begin to be largely exported from Liberia. At 
present, the chief articles of export are palm-oil and the camwood, 

29 



LIBERIA. 

from which a valuable dye is extracted. The value of the annual 
exports was estimated in 1839 at 700,000 dollars, or L. 140,000; 
and that of the imports at 400,000 dollars, or L. 80,000. Since 
that time the amount of both exports and imports has considerably 
increased. The recent establishment (in 185*2) of a monthly line 
of steam-packets, from Plymouth to the settlements on the western 
coast of Africa, including Liberia, will doubtless be of considerable 
advantage to the commerce of the young republic. The American 
Congress has lately had under its consideration a proposal for a 
monthly line of large steamers, to run between the United States 
and Liberia, for the conveyance of emigrants and merchandise. 
The project has been received with considerable favour, and has 
been recommended by the legislatures of several states. It will 
probably be soon adopted, and must greatly promote the progress 
of the little republic. 

Nearly all the common domesticated animals of this country are 
now reared in Liberia. Cows are numerous, but do not give 
much milk, probably from not being properly attended to. Oxen 
are coming 1 into use for ploughing and as beasts of burden. The 
horses which have hitherto been brought into the settlement have 
not thriven well, and many of them have perished of a disease 
similar to the fever which attacks newly arrived emigrants. They 
do better, however, in the inland villages. A colonist, in a 
recently published letter, speaks of having four horses in his 
stables. Sheep and g'oats are easily raised — the former, however, 
being covered with short hair instead of wool. Swine do not 
thrive so well, but are raised in sufficient abundance to supply 
the wants of the people. Fowls of every description are very 
numerous and cheap. 

Little is yet known of the geology or mineralogy of Liberia. 
As in other parts of Guinea, gold is occasionally found along the 
banks of the streams. A colonist once accidentally discovered a 
quantity valued at fifty dollars, and the natives occasionally bring* 
it in for sale. As they have been acquainted with its value for 
centuries, it is fortunately not probable that any large surface 
deposits of this metal remain to be discovered. Some of the more 
useful minerals, particularly copper, iron, and coal, are found in 
other parts of Africa, and it may reasonably be expected that 
future researches will bring to light similar stores of natural 
riches in Liberia. At present, were any mines to be discovered, 
the want of means to work them would render the discovery of 
little advantage. 

For political and judicial purposes, the republic is divided into 
counties, which are further subdivided into townships. The counties 
are three in number — Montserrado, Bassa, and Sinoe — to which 
Maryland in Liberia will probably soon be added as a fourth. 
The townships are commonly about eight miles in extent. Each 
town is a corporation, its affairs being managed by officers chosen 
by the inhabitants. Courts of monthly-sessions, and of quarter- 

30 



JLIBERIA. 

sessions, are held in each county. The civil business of the county 
is administered by three commissioners. There were, in 1850^ 
eleven towns in Liberia, besides a few smaller settlements. Monrovia, 
the capital, has already been noticed. Other towns in Montserrado 
County are Caldwell, Virginia, Millsburg, and New Georgia, on or 
near the St Paul's River ; and Marshall, on the Junk River. In 
Bassa County are the flourishing" towns of Bassa Cove, Edina 7 
and Bexley, on the St John's River and its branches. The last- 
mentioned was named in honour of the late Lord Bexlev, who 
took a warm interest in the colony, and presented to the American 
Colonisation Society, of which he was one of the vice-presidents, 
the sum of L,500 for the purchase of the land on which the town 
is situated. Edina, in like manner, was so named in token of 
gratitude for contributions received from Edinburgh at an early 
period of the colony's existence. In Sinoe County is the pretty 
town of Greenville, at the mouth of the Sinoe River ; and not far 
from it is the village of Readsville, formed by slaves manumitted 
by Mrs Read, a benevolent lady of Mississippi. 

A few statistical facts remain to be added to the foregoing' 
statement. In 1843, when the last census was taken, there were 
twenty-three churches in Liberia, with an aggregate of 1474 
communicants, of whom 1104 were emigrants from America and 
their children, and 469 were native Africans, who had been con- 
verted from heathenism. In 1849, the number of churches had 
increased to about thirty, with, it may be presumed, a propor- 
tionate increase of members. The principal religious denomina- 
tions in the republic of Liberia are the Methodists, Baptists, and 
Presbyterians ; the Protestant Episcopalians have churches and a 
mission in the colony of Maryland in Liberia, under the superin- 
tendence of a bishop. In 1843, there were sixteen schools, with 
562 scholars. In 1849, the number of schools had been doubled, 
and the number of scholars exceeded 2000. There were, in 1851, 
three i high schools' in Monrovia ; and in 1852 an act was passed 
incorporating' a board of trustees for a college, which is to be 
established in that town with the aid of funds from America. 

In view of the filets embodied in the foregoing narrative and 
description, it is not surprising that the interest generally felt in 
the progress of Liberia should have greatly increased throughout 
the United States. The free coloured people who, as a body, have 
hitherto been unwilling to leave America, are now preparing to 
emigrate in great numbers. Many slaveholders have emancipated 
their slaves for the purpose of allowing them to emigrate ; and 
many more have given notice of their intention of doing the same. 
The Irish and German emigrants, who are arriving in the United 
States in such vast numbers, are gradually displacing the free 
coloured labourers, and diminishing the value of slave labour. 
The annual emigration to Liberia, under the pressure of these 
various influences, is already numbered by thousands. It is 
becoming a general opinion in the United States, that in this 

31 



LIBERIA. 

manner the whole negro population of that country will finally be 
transferred to the shores of Africa. The probability is, however, 
that long before this result can take place, all the slaves in America 
will be emancipated. The great obstacle in the way of their libera- 
tion has hitherto been the not unreasonable apprehension that they 
would be found incapable of self-government, and that the sudden 
introduction of three millions of semi-barbarous freedmen into the 
civil polity of the country would be fatal to the stability of its 
institutions. The successful experiment of Liberia must in a short 
time remove this apprehension. It is impossible to believe that an 
intelligent, benevolent, and high-spirited people like the Americans, 
will continue to hold their fellow-men in slavery after it has been 
clearly shewn that the emancipation of all the slaves in the Union 
might, with proper precautions, be effected without danger to the 
country. 

It is deserving of notice, in this connection, that a decided 
change of public feeling is known to have recently taken place in 
Brazil on the subject of the slave-trade, which has almost entirely 
ceased. Manumissions have long been common in that country, 
and a large free coloured class already exists in it. The recent 
appointment of a minister to Liberia, and the project of founding 1 
a Brazilian colony of free blacks on the African coast, would seem 
to indicate the existence of some amount of anti-slavery feeling* in 
that empire. When we consider the rapid diffusion of opinions in 
this age, and the marvellous progress of social improvement, it 
does not seem too much to expect that the present generation may 
be fortunate enough to witness the complete extinction of slavery 
in all nations professing the Christian religion. Should Liberia 
continue to prosper, this consummation may be regarded as certain. 
The existence of a powerful nation of civilised and Christian 
negroes in Africa, must speedily render the maintenance of negro 
slavery in America impossible. In the prospect of such a result, 
and of the vast changes in Africa which must accompany it, there 
seems ample warrant for the assertion, that the founding of the 
colony of Liberia is likely to be ranked hereafter among' the 
greatest historical events of our age. 




LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 



N the morning' of the 23d of December 1793, 
the city of Berlin presented a scene of unusual 
gaiety and bustle. At an early hour, the whole 
of its inhabitants seemed to pour forth in living* 
streams, joyful anticipation lighting up every 
countenance. Short but expressive greetings were ex- 
changed. From all parts of the country there arrived 
crowds to swell the moving mass. Thousands of spec- 
tators were seen gazing from the windows and from 
the roofs of the houses, and the whole citv was decked 
for a festival ; for on that day, at noon, two young' and 
lovely princesses were to make their formal entrance into 
Berlin — the betrothed brides of the crown-prince and his younger 
brother. Public rumour had loudly vaunted the extreme beauty 
of her who was to be their future queen ; and when the stately 
procession was seen at length to advance, amidst the loud sounding* 
No. 58, l 




LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

s 

of drums and trumpets, curiosity had reached its highest pitch, 
and every eye was strained in search of one object. It were 
impossible to describe the shouts of welcome that burst forth on 
the first appearance of this charming* princess, whose loveliness 
surpassed all expectation. 

At the entrance to the Linden Allee, one of the widest 
streets in the world, on the spot where now stands the monu- 
ment to Frederick the Great, a splendid triumphal arch, having 
Corinthian pillars adorned with a variety of allegorical emblems, 
had been erected in honour of the occasion. Here the procession 
paused ; the drums and trumpets were still, and a deputation of the 
citizens advanced to greet and welcome the princess in the name 
of the whole city. A group of pretty children, dressed in white, 
with green wreaths, emblems of Purity and Hope, then advanced 
and surrounded the royal bride. One of them, a lovely little girl, 
presented to her a crown of myrtle blossoms, repeating at the same 
time, with so much sweetness and expression, a simple little poem 
of welcome, that the princess, yielding to the impulse of her open 
loving nature, drew the child towards her and kissed her tenderly. 
This gush of natural feeling charmed the whole assembled multi- 
tude, save one, the lady in waiting, the Countess von Vosz, a very 
incarnation of etiquette, who, shocked, but too late to arrest the 
hasty deed, exclaimed : * My God ! what has your Boyal High- 
ness done 1 It is contrary to all court rules and precedents.' But 
the young princess, with a serene and innocent countenance, only 
replied ingenuously : i What ! may I no longer do so 1 ' 

On Christmas-eve, the nuptials were celebrated with all due 
pomp and splendour. At six in the evening, the diamond crown 
of the royal house of Prussia having been placed on the head 
of the bride, the whole court repaired to the apartments of the 
widowed queen of Frederick the Great, to invite her to attend the 
ceremony, which took place in the White Saloon, in presence of 
the ministers of state, foreign ambassadors, nobility, and a consider- 
able concourse invited as spectators. At the conclusion of the 
solemn benediction, a discharge of seventy-two cannons announced 
the completion of the ceremony. Amongst all classes of the 
citizens, the king had issued tickets of admission to the interior of 
the palace, and the people seemed to gaze with unwearied delight 
on the lovely, graceful, and dignified bride of their favourite prince. 
At nine, a banquet was spread for the royal family in the Hall of 
the Knights, under a baldachin of crimson velvet, embroidered 
with gold, the dishes being placed on the table by two generals of 
Prussia, the whole of the ladies and gentlemen of the court waiting 
on the royal party until after they had drunk for the first time— 
a usage introduced by Frederick I., as practised at the French 
court under Louis XIV. After the banquet, there followed the 
solemn torch-dance, a relic of the middle ages, everywhere fallen 
into disuse except at the court of Prussia. On a signal from the 
lord high-chamberlain, and to sound of trumpet and drum, the 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

ministers of state advanced in couples, each bearing* in his hand a 
lighted wax-taper, in imitation of a torch. Then followed the royal 
family, the king leading* the bride, and the bridegroom the queen 
his mother and the widowed queen of Frederick the Great. We 
are told, c the entire procession went slowly and solemnly round/ 
which, rather than rejoicing, carries the mind far back to the high 
and dark times of mediaeval superstition, and further still, to 
heathen rites and Eleusinian mysteries. Thus ended the festivities 
of the day; and on the second day after Christmas, Prince Louis 
was united to the Princess Frederica, who was two years younger 
than her sister — the elder princess being seventeen, the younger 
fifteen years of age. 

Louisa, daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and of 
a princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, was born at Hanover on the 10th 
of March 1776. When only in her seventh year, she had the 
misfortune to lose her mother, which she felt the more deeply, that 
both her intellect and her affections had been very early developed ; 
and even when, in after-years, the misfortunes of her country 
bowed her to the earth, the memory of her beloved mother she 
ceased not fondly to cherish. This excellent parent, by her wise 
and affectionate instructions, laid the foundation of a sound and 
enlightened education, which was afterwards happily completed 
under the care of her maternal grandmother, the landgravine of 
Hesse-Darmstadt, who, together with two happily chosen gover- 
nesses, Mesdames von Wollzogen and Gelieur, was the means of 
fostering and maturing those virtues and graces which raised 
Louisa, Queen of Prussia, to be the model of her sex and the 
admiration of all Europe. In addition to solid and elegant 
accomplishments, she was also taught the exercise of benevolence, 
in which she ever found high enjoyment, visiting frequently the 
abodes of poverty and sickness, and never failing to bestow pity, 
consolation, and relief. In company with her grandmother, she 
made frequent journeys to visit relatives in different parts of 
Germany, traversed the banks of the Rhine, and also many of 
the provinces of the Netherlands. Her gentle and inquiring mind 
was thus strengthened and enlarged, and her great power of dis- 
crimination, which had already begun to shew itself, happily and 
profitably exercised. 

While Louisa was yet young, her eldest sister Charlotte had 
been married to the reigning Duke of Hildburghausen ; and some 
years after, her second sister Theresa, to the Prince of Tour and 
Taxis, which latter alliance was the occasion of several visits to 
Frankfort, where, in the end of the year 1792, she first met with 
her future husband, who, with his brother, and the king their 
father, were then in head-quarters in that city. The contagion of 
the French Revolution, destined in its effects to be so fatal to the 
kingdom of Prussia, had already overspread Germany, and was 
shaking the political relations of the whole of Europe. The 
Prussians marched an army across the Rhine, commanded by 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. So strong was the delusion 
of the Prussians in this, the first of these campaigns which 
erelong issued in the total loss of the left bank of the Rhine, 
that the officers were told : c . Do not purchase too many horses 
— the affair will soon be over; 7 and the Duke of Brunswick 
remarked : i Gentlemen, not too much baggage ; this is merely a 
military trip. 7 The insolent French general Custine, on entering 
Frankfort, had predicted to the citizens the fall of the Holy 
German Empire, w r hich followed so soon after. 'You have 
beheld/ said he, 'the coronation of the emperor of Germany: 
well, you will not see another. 7 This Custine, w T ith his rapacious 
army, had just been expelled from that city by the Prussians, 
when Louisa and her sister chancing to pass througii, w r ere intro- 
duced to the king and the two princes. What w r onder if this 
young princess, who charmed every one w T ho beheld her, should 
have instantly captivated the crown-prince 1 for she was rich in 
those nameless graces which, even with no great personal beauty, 
exert so powerful an influence over the hearts of men. But her 
beauty w r as perfect. She was indeed one of those rare beings who 
seem to be endowed with every perfection of mind and body ; and 
all so harmoniously blended, that the biographer is embarrassed 
between the two feelings, that enumeration is useless, and that 
truth will be called hyperbole. This may seem like exaggera- 
tion, but here we have the testimony of Germany 7 s greatest poet, 
Goethe, who was in the suite of the Grand Duke of Weimar at 
the siege of Mayence, in May 1793, just after the double betrothal 
had taken place, and who there saw the two princesses of Meck- 
lenburg. He says : 6 In my sojourn with the court, I had the 
opportunity of observing them closely as they passed to and fro 
in unconstrained freedom amidst the assembled company, and the 
effect they produced on me was such, that I could only compare 
them to two celestial beings, whose impression on my mind could 
never be effaced. 7 

The crown-prince, who was then about twenty-three, is described 
as tall and well proportioned, with a military bearing, a counte- 
nance expressive of intellectual repose, agreeable but somewhat 
serious ; a high forehead, a mouth indicating firmness with a tinge 
of satire. When he had reached his prime, he was considered the 
handsomest man in Prussia ; and when he appeared in public or 
on parade, no one had ever to ask, ' which is the king ? 7 Bishop 
Eylert, court-preacher at Potsdam, in his interesting, but somewhat 
cumbrous and truly German, Memoirs of Frederick-William III., 
thus describes the prince and princess : ' He was grave, she affable ; 
he curt, she copious ; he full of care, she cheerful ; he absorbed, 
she sympathetic ; he prosaic, she poetic ; he practical, she ideal ; 
he satirical, she playful ; he cautious, she ingenuous ; he irritable, 
she tranquil ; he inquiring, she anticipating ■; he simple, she kindly ; 
he wholly a man, she wholly a woman, full of grace and love : 
both one in heart and soul. 7 Such were this royal pair, who lived 

4 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

together a life of rarest harmony for seventeen years, the last four 
darkened by misfortunes, which, though uniting them only the 
more closely in love, broke the heart of the lovely queen, and 
brought her down to the grave in the flower of her age. 

The first four years of their union were spent almost entirely at 
Paretz, a small estate purchased by the crown-prince near Potsdam. 
Here they lived with the utmost simplicity, Louisa regulating her 
own household, diligently cultivating her understanding, reading 
history, ancient and modern, translations from the classics, taking 
especial delight in the old Greek tragedy and in our own 
Shakspeare. She also wrote with great facility, elegance, and 
intelligence. During these four years, two sons were born to her 
— in 1795, Frederick- William, the present king of Prussia, and 
William, Prince of Prussia, presumptive heir to the throne. 
Death came, too, to chequer the scene, for Prince Louis was carried 
off by malignant fever, leaving her beloved sister Frederica a widow 
when not yet nineteen ; the widow of the illustrious Frederick, 
greatly venerated by Louisa, died at the age of eighty-two ; and 
in 1797, died the reigning king, Frederick- William II., nephew 
and successor of the Great Frederick. 

When, at rare intervals, Louisa had appeared in the court-circles 
and in the assemblies of the great, she was the chief ornament and 
centre of attraction — the cynosure of every eye ; but she turned 
away from such scenes to the far higher enjoyment of domestic 
life. Now, however, she must come forth from the retirement 
which she loved, to be the queen of a great nation, by whom, from 
the instant she ascended the throne, she was, even at the early age 
of twenty-one, universally hailed as c the mother of her country/ 
a title of which she was justly proud, and never ceased to merit. 
It has often been remarked, that a life of happiness is singularly 
barren in events calling for especial record. It certainly presents 
few of an exciting nature ; many, however, from which high and 
holy lessons may be drawn ; and from none more than from the 
life of rare felicity enjoyed by the king and queen of Prussia for 
the next eight years. So far as was consistent with their duty to 
the state over which they were called to preside, they continued to 
live a life of retirement, and always of simplicity, making- fre- 
quent journeys through their dominions, to the great delight of 
their simple loving subjects. The year after their accession, the 
sovereigns visited the remote eastern provinces of their dominions, 
where scarcely an inhabitant had ever beheld a queen, and whose 
appearance everywhere was the signal for the most hearty though 
rustic rejoicings ; the royal pair being likened, in the poetic lan- 
guage of the people, to ' the embodied genius of Justice and Mercy.' 
The queen frequently joined in the dance, and excited the utmost 
enthusiasm by her queenly air and gentle condescension, and the 
appreciation she shewed of whatever was presented to her, by 
instantly making use of it — such as ornaments of amber, which 
she constantly wore during her stay in the places where she 



LOUISA; QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

received them. Such deeds are to matters of taste and feeling* 
what the golden rule is to Christianity. In this journey, the 
queen's carriage was overturned when descending a hill, and while 
her attendants were fuming at the carelessness of the servants, the 
queen said kindly : 6 Say nothing about it ; we are not hurt ; and 
these poor people are assuredly more terrified by the accident than 
ourselves. 7 Many other traits are recorded of her in this journey, 
during which she won all hearts. After a two months 7 absence, 
she returned to Charlottenburg, where, in July 1798, was born 
Charlotte, now called Alexandra, the present amiable empress of 
Kussia. 

To the queen's untiring benevolence was intrusted the superin- 
tendence of the charitable institutions, and of whatever tended to 
the religious and moral improvement of the state. In all these, 
as well as in her enlightened encouragement of learned men, 
of science, and the fine arts, she proved herself to be in reality 
a nursing mother. To the sick, the poor, and the desolate, she 
was indeed a ministering angel ; for although as yet she had only 
known hours of ease, her exquisite sensibility was quick to detect 
even an expression of sadness, and knew not only what balm was 
needed, but how it could best be administered. The king sup- 
ported and warmly encouraged her in every good deed ; for 
above all — and without which her fine qualities might have 
lacked free exercise — he knew well how to prize the divine gift 
that had been sent him in this jewel without price. He shielded 
her as much as possible from all that might burden or distress her, 
and was unwearied in those small and delicate attentions, dearer to 
the heart of a woman than the most costly sacrifices ; and also lost 
no opportunity of publicly manifesting his high respect for her, 
frequently surprising her by fetes in honour of her, especially on 
her birthday. When she reached her twenty-eighth year, the 
king gave, in the theatre at Berlin, a splendid masked-ball, varied 
by mythological representations, all having complimentary refe- 
rence to the queen ; and when the king led her forward to the 
front of the box, in the full blaze of her beauty, and radiant with 
splendour, there was a tremendous outburst of enthusiasm, which 
Louisa acknowledged with her usual grace and sweetness. So 
great were the purity and transparency of her character, that she 
seemed a very embodiment and emblem of truth, that principle 
she so much venerated ; and hence, joined to her quick sympathies, 
the confidence she inspired. Her character was full of emphasis, 
to which truth was the key-note. When conversing on serious 
subjects, she spoke slowly, almost solemnly: was the theme lighter 
— then her tones were light and ringing ; her arch and witty sallies 
were irresistible. This varied power of expression was greatly 
enhanced by her fluency and command of language, in which she 
greatly excelled the king. 

Louisa had a manner all her own of welcoming her guests, and 
of smiling around graciously when she broke up the dinner-party, 

6 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

always shewing marked attention to those who enjoyed the con- 
fidence of the king", and especially the aged. Having observed 
that the old General von Kockeritz, the valued and devoted 
servant of the king", had begun to retire earlier from the dinner- 
table than they could have wished, the queen desired to know 
the cause ; but the king* said : ' Let the good old man do as he likes ; 
perhaps after dinner he prefers repose.' But the queen would not 
be satisfied, and soon "discovered that he retired to enjoy his pipe. 
Next day, when he rose as usual to excuse himself, the queen 
stepped forward with a merry arch smile, and placing a well-filled 
pipe and matches in the hands of Kockeritz, said : i My good old 
friend, to-day you don't escape us. You must smoke your pipe 
with us here. Now, then, at it at once ! } The king, with a smile 
of affectionate approbation, said : c Dear Louisa, that was charm- 
ingly done. 7 The faithful old servant continued ever after to 
enjoy this privilege. Such consideration reminds us of the bearing 
of our own gracious Sovereign towards the Duke of Wellington, 
especially of her hastening forward to assist him when he stumbled 
on the day of her coronation ; and the resemblance is also to 
be found in punctuality, which may well be called a virtue in 
sovereigns. Louisa was a model of regularity, and always made an 
apology when she unavoidably infringed her rule. Having promised 
to honour with her presence a fete given by one of the cabinet 
ministers, and arriving much later than the appointed hour, she 
apologised, saying : i My husband had very pressing business, 
which detained him, and I could not come without him.' She 
never interfered, at least openly, in public matters. When 
asked to intercede with the king in any matter of public interest 
or private necessity, she knowing, besides, how jealous he was 
of his prerogative, always replied : t You must speak to 'the king 
about it yourself. With him, there is no necessity for taking 
any indirect means to obtain what is just and right.' 

In 1798, her young widowed sister was married to the Prince of 
Solms Braunfels; and in the following year Louisa gave birth 
to a daughter, who died in a few months. In August 1800, 
the king desired to make a journey into Silesia, and the queen, 
who was an enthusiastic lover of nature, and took especial delight 
in the charming repose of a pastoral country, accompanied him. 
They ascended the Schneekoppe, the highest mountain in Germany, 
the queen performing the first part of the journey on horseback, 
and in the Amazonian costume ; but the final ascent could only 
be made on foot. On reaching the summit, the king reverently 
uncovered his head, and the queen stood with folded hands, as in 
silent prayer. After a pause, loud shouts arose from the loyal 
multitude around, and cannon thundered from height to height. 
The queen afterwards said : l This was one of the most blessed and 
solemn moments of my life. I felt as if elevated above the earth, 
and nearer to my God.' They then visited the mines ; and twenty- 
one years afterwards, an old miner, when asked by Prince Radzivill 

7 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

if any of them had been present at the royal visit, replied : c Yes, 
your highness; more than half of us are alive who had that 
honour : three are with you now. I sat at the rudder, and I could 
see the queen's sweet face well by the light of the lamps. In all 
my life I never saw such a face : she looked grand, as a queen should 
look ; but gentle as a child ; with the sweetest smile I ever saw — 
just for all the world like my dead blessed mother ! When the 
psalm began — "Praise the Lord, the mighty King of all the 
earth" — the queen took the king's hand, and said softly: "My 
favourite psalm : this is heavenly ! " then turning to me, said : 
" More slowly, my good steersman." She gave me two new 
Holland ducats, which I gave to my wife, and she wears them 
round her neck when she goes to church, or to take the sacrament, 
for what she touched was holy. Ah, my God ! what a woman 
she was ! Why did the good God take her away from us so 
soon?' As he spoke, big tears coursed down his furrowed 
cheeks. 

As the royal children grew up, they became more and more 
objects of constant interest and solicitude to the queen, whose 
tender maternal care extended even to the personal superintendence 
of their education, so rare in her exalted rank ; and she repeatedly 
expressed her approbation of the exertions of Delbruck, tutor to 
the crown-prince, especially because he sought to instil into the 
hearts of her children the precepts of religion. In this, and every 
other good work, she had generally the assistance, and always the 
approbation of the king, who allowed her a certain sum for bene- 
volent purposes. This she often exceeded, and when informed by 
the treasurer why his accounts did not balance, the king had a 
way of quietly replenishing the drawer of her desk. She would 
then say : \ What angel has filled that drawer for me again 1 ' 
To which the king replied, that the angels were legion, although 
he knew only one ; and then repeated the beautiful verse, ' He 
gives his favours to his favourites while sleeping'.' This high and 
tender appreciation of the queen's graces and virtues appeared 
at all times. Himself grave, often morose, silent, and somewhat 
sarcastic, he knew well how to make use of and shelter himself 
behind the serene smiles and ever genial, gracious demeanour of 
the queen ; to whom he used to say, when assailed by the plaudits 
of their subjects : ' Now, Louisa, you must salute them for me ; 
you can do it better than I ; but how you can hold out so long, 
I cannot think.' 

Much is said of her sly playfulness and ready repartee, one 
anecdote of which we cannot resist giving. The king, who was 
extremely careful and judicious in his expenditure, and whose 
maxim it was that the secret of dollars lies in grosclien — exactly 
similar to our saying about pennies and pounds — on entering the 
queen's apartments one morning espied a pretty new head-dress, 
of which he jestingly inquired the price. 

The queen replied in the same tone: 'It is not always right 

8 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

that men should know the price of women's dress; they don't 
understand it, and think everything* too dear.' 

< Well, but do tell me the price of this cap, for I should like to 
know.' 

c Oh, certainly I will. I bought it a great bargain ; I only gave 
four dollars for it.' 

6 Only ! — an enormous price for such a thing. What a large 
sum of money ! ' — and running on in the same vein, he saw from 
the window an old invalided veteran of the guard, whom he beckoned 
to come in, saying to him as he entered : 4 The lady who is sitting 
on that sofa has a great deal of money ; now, what ought she to 
pay for that little cap on the table I You must not be dazzled by 
the beautiful pink ribbons, but say what you think it is worth.' 

The old soldier shrugged his shoulders, and said, after a pause : 
6 Why, I suppose it would cost some groschen ' (pence). 

1 There now ! ' said the king ; i do you hear that 1 Groschen, 
indeed! That thing* cost four dollars. Now go and ask that 
pretty lady for four dollars. She can well afford to give you as 
much as she can afford to pay for that. 7 

The queen smilingly opened her purse, and presented the four 
dollars to the old man. ' And now,' continued the queen, archly 
imitating the king's tone, ' you see that noble gentleman standing 
at the window ; he has much more money than I have. All I 
have is from him, and he gives very freely. Now go and ask 
him for double of what you have got from me : he can afford to 
give you eight dollars.' 

The king saw at once that he was caught in his own trap, and 
laughingly gave the old man the sum she had so charmingly 
forced from him. This anecdote excited great merriment when 
recounted among the court attendants. When the king returned 
to Potsdam after the queen's death, he met this man, the sight of 
whom brought back a rush of sweet memories. He could only 
utter the words : l Brandes ! do you remember 1 ' and turned 
quickly away. 

Engrossed with the duties of her exalted station and her 
maternal cares, Louisa had not much leisure for reading; but 
this was atoned for by her amazing facility in gleaning and 
appropriating whatever was useful, and improving and shewing 
its adaptation in her conversation. She took especial delight in 
the works of Herder, Goethe, and Schiller. She sought to elevate 
the character of woman and increase her influence, and therefore 
strongly condemned mere superficial acquirements, and the pre- 
valent flimsy system of education. Ridicule and innuendo were 
abhorrent to her, and she could not bear to see any one placed in 
a painful situation, or good intentions mistaken. The conclusion 
of the faithful old serving-man, who one day, when the queen 
remarked on the goodness of the coffee at a certain watering-place, 
and he ascribed it to the moral water, causing* shouts of laughter ; 
but which she turned off, as if he meant to convey a moral 

No. 58. 9 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

lesson on the benefit of moderation, simplicity, and quiet, ending* 
by saying : i My good Henry, give me a glass of this moral 
mineral water ; ? and the old man, recovering from his confusion, 
said : c Nobody understands me so well as our good queen ? — was 
felt by all who approached her. She placed the diffident at ease, 
and seemed to tell them what they meant and felt ; penetrated 
and drew out different tastes and talents. In conversing with 
ambassadors, she shewed an intimate knowledge of the history 
of their country, and their own family relations ; expressed her 
opinion on historical facts, but avoided diplomatic and political 
subjects. 

In 1801, was born Prince Charles, third son of the queen; in 
1803, the Princess Alexandrina, afterwards married to the here- 
ditary Prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ; and in 1804, Prince 
Ferdinand, who died about two years afterwards. The only 
important journey made by their majesties during these years, 
was one into Pomerania, when they visited also Konigsberg and 
Memel, where they were met by the Emperor Alexander of 
Russia, who took advantage of their proximity to his dominions 
to become personally known to them. The sovereigns always 
dined together in public. The merchants and shipowners gave a 
splendid ball, which was opened by the emperor and the queen ; 
and here first began that mutual good understanding, afterwards 
cemented by family unions, which has ever since existed between 
Russia and Prussia, with only slight interruptions during the 
early part of the ensuing war with France. In all these journeys, 
at home or abroad, the vain efforts of the Countess von Vosz to 
keep the king and queen right in matters of state ceremonial, they 
being both careless of external forms, gave rise to constant banter 
and merriment. On one occasion, when the congTatulations of a 
foreign court were to be received, the countess said this was an 
occasion on which the state-carriages must be used ; that of the 
sovereigns must be drawn by eight horses, richly caparisoned, 
with two state-coachmen, and three footmen, in their best state- 
livery. 'Well/ said the king, 'let it be as you desire.' Next 
morning, when the grand equipage drew up, the king handed in 
the countess, quickly shut the door, calling out to the coachman : 
' Go on/ and then jumped into his own open carriage with the 
queen, thus driving her majesty behind the countess, to the great 
amusement and delight of the spectators. We can well imagine 
how this piece of animated buckram (she was, however, by the way, 
a person of talent and attainments) would have revelled in the dis- 
cussions that were wont to take place in the petty German courts ; 
such as that related by the sister of the Great Frederick, who was 
married to the Margrave of Bayreuth, as gravely and tediously 
deliberated on, touching the respective dignity of two small great 
potentates who, were to meet there, when it was at leng-th deter- 
mined that one of them was to have a large chair without arms, 
and the other a small chair with arms ! And this at so poor a 

10 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

court, that tlie royal palace was so dilapidated as scarcely to 
exclude the cold, and the witty Prussian princess had tattered 
hangings to her bed ! * We need scarcely tell how faithful was 
the attachment of Madame von Vosz to the royal family of 
Prussia, how deeply she felt their misfortunes, and how great was 
her hatred of the oppressor. In 1808, an English officer, who had 
been in the West Indies, presented her with a beautiful parrot, 
which kept constantly repeating, for the gratification of the royal 

family, and as if to nurse the wrath of all : 6 God d n 

Napoleon ! ' Upon which the countess was wont to exclaim : 
' O the charming* parrot ! ' 

A short mile from Potsdam, on the river Havel, shut in on the 
north and south by wooded hills ; on the west, looking over to 
Potsdam ; and on the east, to Spandau, deeply shaded by magni- 
ficent old oaks, richly adorned with flowers, and alive, so to speak, 
with all sorts of rare animals — lies the beautiful little isle called 
Peacock Island, only about a mile in circuit, on the most romantic 
spot of which rises a small fancifully formed castle. This charming 
island was the favourite retreat of the king and queen ; and when 
they entered the boats to convey them thither, the king would 
unbutton his coat, as if to breathe more freely, and during his stay 
would suffer no ordinary state business to interrupt his domestic 
enjoyment. Many pleasant stories are told of their manner of life 
there. Bishop Eylert states, that he was once required by their 
majesties to read to them a sermon he had delivered in their 
presence on the beautiful words of Ruth to her mother-in-law, 
and which he had applied to the close union of a Christian mar- 
riage. He says : c I read the sermon to them one calm summer 
evening on Peacock Island, under the shade of the tall oaks. The 
royal suite were present ; and as I read, the queen sat bj the king, 
her hand in his, and the holy calm of devotion seemed to be felt 
by all around. At the close of the discourse, the tones of the 
military band were heard playing the psalm : " In all my actions, 
I take counsel of the Lord." There was a long and solemn pause, 
for we were all disposed to be silent. The full moon had already 
risen in the east ; the mellow tones of the distant music echoed 
through the pure expanse in soft accordance with the stillness 
which seemed inspired by the peace of God within our souls. 
This beautiful island seemed to us to be the very temple of the 
living God. At length we exclaimed : " Surely this spot is holy ; 
this night it seems as the gate of heaven." The king was the first 
to move. Placing his hand on the queen's shoulder, he said softly, 
but audibly, gazing on her earnestly, as was his wont when 
thoughtful : " It shall be so, dear Louisa ; I and my house, we will 
serve the Lord." He then retired in visible emotion to a small 
thicket on the brink of the Havel, to meditate alone.' When 
conversing with Bishop Eylert on the expression of the apostle 

■ 

* See the amusing Memoirs of the Margravine of Bayreuth. 

11 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

James, as to the difficulty of not offending* in word, the queen 
said : ' Who can be always and in all things correct 1 My best 
friend, the king", certainly can ; he is laconic : richer in thought 
than word, but always true. In truth, lies the key to everything".' 
The king' entering, inquired the subject of their conversation ; and 
the queen replied : c When I speak of my model and example, you 
know already who I mean ; but 7/ou will never listen to me when 
I speak so.' When she spoke of the king, it was always thus: 
1 my best friend.' By her talent and feminine grace and tact, she 
had the art of embellishing every subject she touched on, and of 
refining and improving the most common occurrence. All this 
may be told, but Bishop Eylert says : ' These are mere dead 
characters ; but to see her, to hear her speak in her enthusiastic 
tones, the mind, the soul that beamed from her countenance as 
she uttered the feelings of her inmost heart, made an impression 
never to be forgotten, but totally indescribable.' Such was Louisa, 
Queen of Prussia. Hers were virtues which adversity could only 
cause to shine the more brightly. We have seen her on the very 
summit of earthly happiness — we have looked on this picture, and 
would fain linger over it before turning to that — but we must on. 

But here, towards the end of the time happily spent, there 
reached her i a low long distant murmur of dread sounds ; ' for 
the mighty despot, he who did then ' bestride the narrow world 
like a Colossus,' was about to set his foot on the neck of Prussia, 
the people were to 'walk under his huge legs,' and the lovely 
high-spirited queen was to go down to the grave while her 
country was yet groaning under the hated bondage. 

The campaign of which we have already treated, and which ended 
in the loss of the left bank of the Rhine, came to a close in 1795, 
when peace was concluded at Basle between France and Prussia, 
who thus saw herself excluded from the triple alliance formed 
at that time between Austria, Russia, and England against the 
growing power of France. The following year, a convention was 
concluded at Berlin, ostensibly to secure the neutrality of northern 
Germany, bub coupled with a secret understanding', that the Rhine 
was to be recognised as the French boundary ; which, with other 
purposed infringements equally discreditable, placed Prussia at the 
mercy of France, and led erelong to the fall of the German Empire. 
In 1*799, war with France was resolved on ; but the vexatious 
vacillation of the king caused him to withdraw the consent he had 
given. Stein, afterwards the celebrated minister, says of this time : 
i The king, however, took back his resolution, gave Haugwitz in- 
structions to back out of the matter the best way he could, and the 
event is known to all the world. The discontent in Prussia at this 
hesitation and delay was universal.' We have no intention of fol- 
lowing the gigantic strides of Napoleon towards universal dominion, 
of telling of his assumption of the imperial crown, and how he 
drew forth the iron crown of the ancient Lombard kings from its 

repose of a thousand years, and put it on his own head after the 
12 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

manner, and with nearly the same words as those used by Charles 
XII. of Sweden on crowning* himself. In 1805, the allied powers, 
now joined by Sweden, earnestly solicited the aid of Prussia in 
opposing* a barrier to France ; but, unable to resist the temptation 
held out to her by Napoleon of the acquisition of Hanover, she 
remained fatally firm to the French alliance. The eyes of the 
king', however, were soon opened, at least for a time, to the small 
measure of respect he could trust to ; for a French corps passing* 
from Hanover to the Danube, crossed the territory of Anspach, 
thereby violating* the neutrality of Prussia; which so exasperated 
the nation, revealing* as it did the humbling* effects of so vacillating* 
a policy, that the general voice was for instant war, which was 
warmly advocated by the queen and Prince Louis of Prussia, 
cousin of the king*. The first-fruit of this new awakening* appeared 
wmen the allies landed in Hanover, and besieged the only fortress 
occupied by French troops, with no opposition on the part of 
Prussia. Then followed, shortly after, the arrival of the Emperor 
Alexander in Berlin, which the French ambassador regarded as a 
signal to quit, and left the capital accordingly. A treaty was con- 
cluded between the two monarchs, to which they solemnty pledged 
themselves at the tomb of the Great Frederick ; and the minister 
Haugwitz was desired to notify to Napoleon, that Prussia had 
joined the other powers. But remarkable events intervened. 
Napoleon had suffered a partial repulse from the Russians near 
Ulm, but his route lay open to Vienna ; and there then followed the 
brilliant victory of Austerlitz, the entrance into Vienna, and the 
complete prostration of the Austrian power. Of this most remark- 
able campaign of Austerlitz, concluded in the space of three months, 
Alison writes :■' A hundred days unparalleled in the past history 
of Europe, though destined within ten years to be eclipsed by 
another hundred days of still more momentous celebrity ! ? From 
day to day aid Haugwitz delay his departure for the fulfilment 
of a mission which had, in truth, been reluctantly determined on 
by the king. The minister arrived at the French camp at a 
moment when the dawn of the /sun of Austerlitz 7 was already 
visible in the political horizon ; and scarcely had that sun gone 
down when Haugwitz, with matchless effrontery, presented his 
sovereign's congratulations on the victory — a message of which 
c . fortune had changed the address/ as Napoleon in his cool caustic 
manner remarked; signed on the very day on which hostilities 
were to have commenced, a treaty by which — we almost blush to 
write it — Prussia was to receive Hanover, the inheritance of her 
ally, in return for Neuenburg, Anspach, and Cleves. The peace of 
Presburg followed, and Napoleon returned in triumph to Paris. We 
find in the life of Stein how deeply the Prussian people felt the 
degradation of their country. For himself, c there lay, as it were, a 
heavy cloud on his breast ; and for eight bitter years he knew no 
unmixed joy.' The harbours of Prussia were blockaded by the 
allies, and her flag swept from the seas. Now was the time 

13 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PBUSSIA. 

for Napoleon to bring' to maturity his gTand project of the Con- 
federation of the Rhine, the greatest blow to European independ- 
ence, concluded and signed at Paris 12th July 1806 ; by which 
most of the southern states, including 16,000,000 subjects, were 
lost to the German Empire. On the 6th of August following, the 
Emperor Francis, grandson of the celebrated Empress Maria 
Theresa, renounced by a solemn deed the ancient throne of the 
Csesars, which had stood for 1000 years, and declared himself the 
first of the new emperors of Austria. 

In Berlin, the alarming state of the kingdom had produced the 
greatest discontent and irritation. Delay could only increase the 
danger. The king's eyes must be opened. A remonstrance, no 
less bold than that addressed by the Long Parliament to Charles 
I., prepared by the celebrated Miiller, and signed by the king's 
two brothers, by Prince Louis, Stein,* Blucher, and other generals, 
was laid before the king, in which no point was omitted touching 
his own honour and that of the kingdom, and praying him to 
dismiss Haugwitz and other offensive ministers. Even before this, 
Stem, at that time finance minister, had in his own name alone 
presented an address to his sovereign, which we wish we could 
give entire. Let all who would know what an honest man, burning* 
with indignation, can and will dare, read that address, which will 
be found in his Life. The king was highly displeased, and the 
queen, who shared in all his counsels, partook of this feeling. He 
made known his displeasure to Stein, sharply reprimanded the 
princes his brothers, and sent them off to their regiments. But 
the popular ferment was now to rise to an incontrollable height, 
for it became known that Napoleon had offered to restore Hanover 
to England. He also caused to be seized and shot a bookseller of 
Nuremberg, who had published works hostile to France. The 
war-party now overbore all opposition. The queen op % enly fostered 
the general enthusiasm. She frequently appeared in the uniform 
of the regiment which bore her name, and excited the enthusiasm 
of the soldiers by riding at their head. Prince Louis and a band 
of young nobles, burning to repeat the victories of the Great 
Frederick, are said to have sharpened their sabres, like foolish boys, 
on the threshold of the French ambassador, and broken the windows 
of the ministers in the French interest. Doubt and hesitation now 
universally gave place to a reckless spirit of defiance and confi- 
dence. In the market-place at Halle, one professor met another 
with the news that war had been determined on ; adding, that 
nothing* could now save the mad Napoleon from destruction. On 
his friend venturing to say something about French generals, he 
interrupted him vehemently : ' Generals ! where should they 
come from? We Prussians have generals that understand war, 
who have known service from their youth : these tailors and shoe- 
makers beyond the Bhine, who never knew they had legs to stand 

* See the life of Stein (Das Leben des Ministers Freiherrn vom Stein), first volume 
—a valuable work, but not yet completed. 
14 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

on before the Bevolution, in presence of our practised captains can 
only take to their heels. I pray you, in God's name, speak not to 
me about French generals ! ' This we believe only too truly to 
represent the feeling* of the whole nation. 

Twenty years had passed away since the death of c Old Fritz/ 
as the Prussians called the Great Frederick. His successor had 
been ruled by weak ministers, who strengthened his belief in ghosts, 
and opposed toleration. A treasury containing 70,000,000 was 
speedily replaced by as much debt. Profligate courtiers received 
the Order of Merit, bestowed by Frederick only on the heroes of 
the Seven Years' War. Valets and rogues were dubbed nobles, 
and mockingly termed • the newly baked. 7 Mirabeau, then 
French agent at Berlin, thus writes: 'A decreased revenue, an 
increased expenditure, genius neglected, fools at the helm. Never 
was a government nearer ruin.' The king, however, loved mili- 
tary glory, and had opposed the peace of Basle. To such misrule 
of eleven years, Frederick- William III. succeeded. Stein gene- 
rously excuses his desire to avoid war because of the unsatisfactory 
state of the army, which had acquired a great name in the Seven 
Years' War under a military system far from perfect, but owing 
its success to the genius of Frederick, whose presence must have 
been as well worth that of 40,000 men as Napoleon's was said to 
be. It was only among the younger officers that a martial spirit 
prevailed. The commanding-officers were all aged nobles, re- 
ceiving high pay in time of peace ; the commandants of fortresses, 
gray-headed old men. No attention had been given to the 
improvements in warlike tactics; the equipments were ancient 
and cumbrous; the exercises suited to an age that had passed 
away; the soldiers ill armed, clothed, and fed. But there were 
soldiers and officers who had served under the Great Frederick ; 
amongst others, the gallant Blucher; and the army contained 
elements of bravery which, under a bold leader, might have 
achieved mighty deeds. Unhappily, the king intrusted the 
command to the Duke of Brunswick, his near kinsman, who had 
gained renown in his youth, but had come off with little honour 
in the last campaign, and now, at the age of seventy-two, would 
hesitate for an hour how to spell the name of a town; knew 
so little of the topography of the country, that detachments 
belonging to different corps were billeted in the same village, of 
which they disputed the possession ; and in a military council, he 
would ask, in the hearing of the young officers, and with a troubled 
countenance : c What are we to do 1 ' 

Alas for poor devoted Prussia ! Now was come the time when 
she must so grievously expiate her vacillating and crooked policy. 
Frederick-William gallantly took the field at the head of 150,000 
men, and marched out of Berlin amidst songs of triumph, leaving 
the inhabitants literally delirious with joy. With fatal rashness 
resolving to assume the offensive, the Prussians advanced towards 
the valley of the Maine, purposing' thus to cut off the enemy's 

15 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

communication with France. This was instantly retorted by 
Napoleon, who marched the whole of his army, stronger in number 
than the Prussian, in three great columns towards Saxony. 
Appalled by such an unexpected step, the duke ordered his troops 
to be concentrated round Erfurth and Weimar, but in this retro- 
grade movement several detachments were routed ; and on the 
10th of October fell Prince Louis, near Saalfeld, fighting with 
desperate bravery at the head of his corps. The Prussians at 
length succeeded in concentrating their troops in two great divisions 
— one under the king and the duke, near Weimar; the other under 
Prince Hohenlohe, near Jena, leaving a space of ninety miles 
between their extreme flanks. Their situation at this time has 
been compared to a ship with all sail spread lying at anchor. When 
within half a day's journey of the enemy, Napoleon sent a letter 
to the king, couched in the language of a victor, full of cruel irony, 
and offering kind counsels and the restoration of peace to his f good 
brother ; ' which Scott compares to the exulting sensations of the 
angler when he has hooked his fish, and is about to secure his 
prey. On the 13th, Napoleon seized the Prussian magazines, 
imprudently placed at Naumburg, instead of being in the rear 
of the army, and burned them up. Next day, the memorable 
14th of October 1806, took place the battles of Auerstadt and 
Jena — called the battle of Jena, because Napoleon fought there 
in person. He completely routed Prince Hohenlohe, who is 
said to have been first roused from his couch by the thunder of 
the French artillery, and still under the hands of the barber when 
an important post was lost. At Auerstadt, the king and the 
Duke of Brunswick encountered the French general Davoust, 
and were as signally defeated : the duke, who fought with great 
bravery, being carried off the field mortally wounded, the king 
escaping with great difficulty across the fields in the direction of 
Weimar. Fortv thousand Prussians were killed or taken on that 
fatal day. Great personal bravery had been shewn ; but the mis- 
management of the generals, the total want of regular plan or 
combined movement, amounted to infatuation, and the confusion 
of the retreat was such, that ■ the broken army resembled a covey of 
heath -fowl which the sportsman marks and destroys at his leisure. 7 
But where was now Biucher, the gallant hussar ? He had been 
left at Bortzenberg with the rear of Prince Hohenlohe's army, and 
on hearing of his general's defeat, he advanced, and tried to rally 
the scattered remnants of Jena and Auerstadt, at the head of which 
he performed prodigies of valour, fighting his way desperately 
through the very streets of Lubeck, until, overpowered by numbers, 
he surrendered his sword, to be resumed in glorious days, when his 
name should be sounded forth as a war-trumpet among the nations. 
Napoleon's progress to the capital was one triumphal procession. 
As of old, Jericho fell before the Israelites at the sound of the 
trumpet and the blast of the ram's horn ; so fortress after fortress 
— Spandau, Stettin, Ciistrin, Hameln, Magdeburg- — surrendered 

16 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

on little more than a summons, or at the first flight of shells; 
and on the 25th of October, eleven days after the battle of Jena, 
Napoleon made his victorious entrance into Berlin, most of the 
annalists say, amidst the grief and tears of the people. This is 
the account given even by Hazlitt, in his petulant, off-hand, 
surface-pleading for the despot, in which, however, nothing more 
is made out than that he was not altogether a monster. Menzel 
alone, in his History of Germany, says that i Napoleon was 
received, not as at Vienna, with mute rage, but with loud demon- 
strations of delight, which so struck him with astonishment, that 
he declared: "I know not whether to rejoice or to feel ashamed." ? 
We are inclined to think that both accounts are true. Assuredly, 
Menzel could be no willing witness to such a fact. To reckless 
confidence had not only succeeded such a panic that strong men 
became as babes, but all the lesser souls, here as everywhere, were 
eager to prove how ' might and wrong combined are endowed 
with irresistible attraction. 7 The public money and stores were 
betrayed to the French. To one who had discovered a large store 
of wood, the new French commandant said with crushing- irony : 
6 Leave the wood untouched ; your king will want a good deal to 
make gallows for traitorous rogues.' Miiller, too — he who drew 
up the famous remonstrance — now basely pandered to Napoleon, 
and delivered a lecture in Berlin on the Great Frederick, in 
which he artfully contrived to flatter Napoleon at the expense 
of that monarch. The rage in Germany for everything French 
had now reached at once its culminating point and its bitter 
fruits. The cheers of the traitor, the prostration of the ser- 
vile, were repaid with scorn. One step more, and the victor, 
mad with success, would complete the work of subjection. He 
was dastard enough publicly to asperse the fame of the first 
lady in the land, the boast of her age, and the queen of hearts. 
Prussia had fallen; but even the most abject of her sons glowed 
with fierce indignation against the man who could thus seek 
to quench an enthusiasm he with too good reason feared. The 
aged and dying Duke of Brunswick, too, must be hunted down. 
Wounded in both eyes, and suffering tortures, he was carried 
to the town of Brunswick ; but the victor threatened not to 
leave one stone upon another, and the duke, who was adored 
by his subjects, was compelled to seek refuge on Danish ground. 
Resolved not to outlive the fall of his house, he refused all food 
and medicine. Once only his physician succeeded in tempting' 
him with an oyster, which, having tasted, he instantly rejected, 
saying in a tragic .tone : i Man, you have given me my eyes 
to eat ! ' At length he died, near Altona, on the 10th November. 
His son, who witnessed his sufferings, and to whom the victor 
refused permission to lay his father's body in the tomb of his 
ancestors, bequeathed, in true Highland fashion, the work of 
revenge to his successors, so amply fulfilled by the Black Bruns- 
wickers on the field of Waterloo. And surely if ever such a 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

legacy can be excused in a Christian land, it is when foul injury 
is offered to an honoured parent. 

For nearly a century, Prussia had ranked amongst the first 
powers in Europe. Before the campaign of Austerlitz, she had 
but to stretch forth her hand, which held the balance, and the 
scale would have been turned. In her fell the last German 
state that could treat with Napoleon as an equal, and the news 
was received with mingled astonishment, dread, and sympathy. 
Her territories, consisting largely of late acquisitions made by the 
Great Frederick, want breadth and concentration, while their 
length has been compared by Voltaire to a pair of garters stretching* 
across the map of Europe. The people, too, had .placed entire 
reliance on the standing army ; and now, especially in the distant 
states, stood aloof when they saw the destruction of that army 
they had deemed invincible, and knew not to whom they might 
be called on to transfer their allegiance. Hence the unimportant 
assistance now given to repel the invader. The ruin of the House 
of Brandenburg seemed complete, and the sovereigns, whose 
calamity excited deep and general sympathy, were driven beyond 
the Oder, and took refuge in the city of Konigsberg. Most of 
the lesser states were seized on by Napoleon, who threatened to 
impoverish the nobles till they should beg their bread. At Pots- 
dam he enraged the people by violating the tomb of the Great 
Frederick at his favourite palace of Sans Souci, and carrying* off 
his sword and orders, to send them as trophies to Paris. After 
thundering forth his famous Berlin decree, he set out for Poland, 
to intercept the Russians on their march to Germany. 

Louisa was now in a state of extremest wretchedness. She was 
the object of insults both direct and indirect. She was dragg-ed 
before the public in the disgraceful pages of the Telegraph. In 
the bulletins of Napoleon, she was accused of being the cause 
of the nation's sufferings; her enthusiasm was ridiculed; and 
in the scene at the tomb of Frederick, when the king and the 
Emperor Alexander pledged their fealty, he represented her as 
assuming a theatrical attitude, and being attired ' like the London 
engravings of Lady Hamilton ! ? Falsehood and calumny every- 
where found vent. So suddenly came those shocks, that for a 
moment Louisa lost faith in herself and trust in Heaven. Had she 
become the sport of some evil destiny, or had she her life-long 
been calling wrong right 1 She scanned her inmost soul with a 
rigidness known only to the pure in heart ; but she failed to find 
that the light which was in her was darkness. To a sensitive 
mind, however, there is no greater suffering than a sense of 
injustice. These conflicting feelings, together with the thick 
darkness now overshadowing her house and country, threw Louisa 
into a nervous fever, which for many days threatened her life ; 
and she was only recovering, when the approach of the French 
troops to Konigsberg obliged her to fly ; and on a dismal day in 
December she was placed on a bed in her carriage, and conveyed 

18 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

in safety to Memel. The king", seeing the necessity of calling* to 
his counsels men of probity and vigour, offered to make Stein 
minister of the interior; but this he declined, unless the cabinet 
were remodelled, which so irritated the king, that he wrote him a 
letter, in which he called him c a refractory, obstinate, disobedient 
servant of the state. 7 Stein replied with equal severity and 
vehemence, sought and obtained his leave, and set out for his own 
country of Nassau. The remaining fortresses were in a deplorable 
condition, and could not long hold out unless relieved. The 
Prussian troops had joined the Russian shortly before the fright- 
ful carnage of Eylau, after which Napoleon offered to make a 
separate peace with Frederick- William ; but this he generously 
refused. Rays of hope appeared from time to time, but were at 
length extinguished by the decisive battle of Friedland. The 
progress of the war, and Louisa's feelings and state of mind, will 
best be described by her letters sent to her father. In May 1807, 
she writes from Kbnigsberg thus: l Beloved Father — The 
departure of General Blucher [he was about to assume the com- 
mand in Pomerania] gives me once more, thank God, an oppor- 
tunity of writing to you without reserve. How long I have been 
deprived of this happiness, and how much I have to say to you ! 
Blucher's mission to Pomerania, and the patriotism now awakening 
in every bosom, have animated me with new hope. Yes, best of 
fathers, I am convinced all will yet be well, and we shall meet 
again in happiness. The defence of Dantzic goes on well; the 
inhabitants behave admirably, will hear of no surrender, and declare 
they will rather be buried under its ruins than prove untrue to 
their king. The same with Colberg and Graudenz. If all the 
garrisons had so done! — But enough of past evils; let us turn 
our thoughts to God, who never forsakes us so long as we do not 
forsake Him. The king is with the Emperor Alexander and the 
army, and will remain as long as he does. This delightful unity, 
founded on constancy in misfortune, fills me with the brightest 
hopes, that by perseverance we shall sooner or later conquer. I 
confidently trust in God for a happy future ; and ever am, best 
of fathers, your grateful and obedient daughter — Louisa.' One 
after another these fortresses fell, and after the fatal battle of 
Friedland, the queen writes: c Memel, 17th June 1807. — I read 
your letter of 14th April with tears of the most grateful affection. 
How shall I thank you, best and tenderest of fathers, for so many 
proofs of your love and inexpressible paternal kindness ? What a 
consolation and support to me in my troubles ! When so tenderly 
beloved, one cannot be entirely wretched. New and frightful 
calamities have come upon us, and we are on the eve of being 
forced to quit the kingdom. Think of what my condition must 
be. But do not, I pray you, mistake your daughter, or suppose 
me bowed down by doubt and despondency. I am sustained by 
two considerations— first, the belief that we are not the sport of 
blind chance, but are in God's hand, and led by His providence, 

19 



XOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

even through darkness into light, for He is light ; second, that we 

fall with honour. The king has proved to the world that honour 

was his sole desire, and that he is better than his fate. Prussia 

will not willingly endure the chains of slavery. The king, who 

is truth itself, could not have acted otherwise than he has done, 

without being false to himself and a traitor to his people. But to 

the point. By the unfortunate battle of Friedland, Konigsberg 

has fallen into the hands of the French. We are pressed by the 

enemy, and if more closely endangered, I must leave Memel with 

my children. The king will join the emperor again, and I shall 

go to Riga. May God sustain me when the trying moment 

arrives that I must quit the kingdom ! Then strength will indeed 

be needed ; but I lift my eyes to the Almighty, from whom all 

our blessings and trials come ; and my firm faith is, that He will 

not try us beyond what we are able to bear To live and 

die in the ways of the just, and, if need be, live on bread and salt, 

is our firm purpose, and I never can be wholly wretched; but 

hope is no more for me. 7 

After the battle of Friedland, Napoleon took up his quarters at 

Tilsit, and negotiations having been opened for peace, Alexander 

soon joined him there. And now was enacted one of those strange 

dramas in real life, far stranger than any fiction. In the midst of 

the river Niemen was moored the memorable raft of Tilsit, on 

which stood an immense pavilion. Here, on the 25th of June, 

having embarked from different sides of the river, the two emperors 

met ; and those who aforetime were foes, and soon would be foes 

again, those two c good brothers 7 cordially embraced, amid the 

shouts of both armies, and entering the pavilion, held a long private 

conference. During their stay, the closest intimacy subsisted, and 

the two emperors were said to have divided Europe between them. 

On the 28th, arrived the unfortunate king of Prussia, but he was 

not admitted by Napoleon as an equal. The queen arrived a few 

days later, deeming it no degradation to intercede for her people, 

even with the man who had personally insulted her. She writes 

thus : c What this costs me, God only knows ; for although I 

do not hate this man, I look on him as the cause of the king's 

and the nation's misery. I certainly admire his talents, but his 

manifestly false and deceitful character I cannot endure. To be 

courteous to him will be difficult, but this is required of me, and I 

am accustomed to make sacrifices. 7 The crafty Talleyrand had 

sought to prevent this meeting, fearing the effect of the queen's 

charms on Napoleon ; but he resolutely desired it, that he might 

gratify his pride by triumphing over tfie humbled queen, and also 

from curiosity to toehold her surpassing beauty. To gratify his 

own love of pomp, and outwardly to do her honour, the Emperor 

sent for her a magnificent state-carriage, drawn by eight horses, 

with an escort of dragoon-guards. The king was grave, but 

inwardly as well as outwardly calm ; the demeanour of the queen, 

graceful and unconstrained, marked by a perfect composure which 
20 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

did not forsake her during the whole of the interview. Very 
different with the mig'hty conqueror, who was visibly embarrassed 
and surprised by the dignity of the king* and the beauty of the 
queen, to whom he awkwardly addressed some complimentary 
phrases, of which she took no notice, but regretted he had to 
ascend so bad a staircase as in the house where they now met, and 
inquired how his health was in such a northerly climate. Whilst 
replying, he swung* about his whip, and turning to the king said : 
* Sire, I admire the magnanimity of your soul amidst so many and 
so great misfortunes.' The king replied, in a marked and placid 
tone : ' True strength and tranquillity of mind can only spring 
from a good conscience. 7 Whether irritated by these telling 
words, or giving way to his usual arrogance, Napoleon said 
abruptly : * But how could you venture to begin a war with me 
after I had conquered more powerful nations 1 ' The king, wishing 
to avoid such a discussion, looked at him fixedly and severely, 
while the ever-ready queen replied with dignity : i Sire, trusting 
to the glory of the Great Frederick, we deceived ourselves as to 
the extent of our powers : we were deceived ; but it was so 
ordained.' She then turned the conversation into other channels. 
The Emperor had ordered a sumptuous banquet, and they sat 
down to table, the queen on his right hand and the king on his 
left. The king was reserved and laconic, leaving the conversation 
to the queen. She avoided political topics, and without condescend- 
ing to flatter the despot, spoke on subjects likely to interest him, 
especially of the Empress Josephine with respect and kindness. 
The Emperor was quite enchanted with Louisa, and his admira- 
tion increased every moment. He afterwards said to Talleyrand : 
c I knew I was to see a beautiful queen, but I have found at once 
the most beautiful of queens and the most interesting of women.' 
A French author says : c On sitting down to table, Napoleon, with 
great gallantry, told the queen he would restore Silesia accord- 
ing to her earnest wish.' It is asserted, that he was disposed to 
yield to all her wishes, and that one of his generals asked him, in 
a sulky tone, c If t he thought every tear shed by a woman was to 
efface the blood of hundreds of his soldiers.' This may account 
for his refusal of Magdeburg, as to which Louisa often said, she 
felt like Mary of England with regard to Calais, that if her heart 
were seen, that name would be found eng*raven on it in characters 
of blood. Connected with this refusal, a story runs that once 
Napoleon offered the queen a rose of great beauty, which, after 
some hesitation, she accepted, adding : 'At least, with Magdeburg;' 
to which he replied : 6 Your majesty will be pleased to remember, 
that it is I who offer, and your majesty has only the task of 
accepting.' In a letter to Josephine, he writes : c The queen of 
Prussia is really a charming woman ; she is fond of coquetting 
with me ; but do not be jealous, for I am like cerecloth, off which 
everything slides. It would cost me too dear to play the gallant 
in this matter ' — an insinuation the insolence of which must excite 

21 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

■universal scorn ; it is, however, what every woman who has the 
power of pleasing*, or rather, who cannot help pleasing*, is exposed 
to, from the vanity of the one sex and the envy of the other. 
Here we have Napoleon's own refutation of a charge caused hy 
mortification, for he said to Talleyrand, that Louisa might have 
come forward as a new Armida, and dictated terms of peace in 
Paris, hut that she attached too much importance to the dignity of 
her sex, and so forth. 

How instructive to have heen present at that strange banquet, 
where sat side by side the slanderer and the slandered, the 
thoughts of the thoughtful revolving the contrast they exhibited I 
He essentially an actor ; she all truth and nature : he with a face 
like a marble statue, smiling with the mouth alone, while the 
other features were rigid, the true indication of an unsunny soul ; 
her lovely face instinct with expression, the mirror of all sweet 
and holy thoughts : he devoid of conversation, and only easy 
when saying severe things, without wit, without soul, repeating 
the wonderful remark to a whole row of ladies — il fait chaud ; 
she fluent and liquid, now scattering' seeds of thought, now 
embellishing and multiplying the thoughts of others : he living 
for self, and to subjugate mankind ; she living for others, desirous 
that men should be mentally and morally free : he walking in 
the way that seemed good unto him, not knowing that the end 
thereof is death ; she in the paths of the just, whether strewed 
with thorns or flowers, blessed by her own, and to be blessed by 
future generations. 

The Russian and French treaty of peace was signed at Tilsit on 
the 7th July ; that of Prussia on the 9th, by which she lost half her 
territories, including the whole of the fruitful lands between the 
Elbe and the Rhine. Midst such deep humiliation, the king and 
queen maintained throughout the most perfect composure, and a 
dignity of demeanour evidently irritating to Napoleon, who said 
of the king : l He is as stiff as an ill-broken horse ; ' and the 
French officers, in evident astonishment, said to each other : c He 
comports himself as if he were the victor, and we the vanquished. 7 
Napoleon's bearing could not but act as a successful foil; for 
not even his genius for command could redeem him from the 
charge of vulgarity. The news of the Peace of Tilsit caused every- 
where the deepest dejection. The country stood in need of a 
deliverer, and all eyes were turned to Stein. On hearing of the 
Peace of Tilsit, so strong were his feelings of shame and indig- 
nation, that he was seized with a tertian ague, and he was still in a 
state of extreme weakness, when letters arrived from the Princess 
Louisa Radzivill, the king's sister, from Blucher, from Niebuhr, 
and from Hardenberg in the name of the king, urging' him 
to come and preside over the nation's counsels. They prayed 
him to lay aside personal considerations, to forget former in- 
juries ; and Hardenberg assured him that the king had learned 

much in the school of adversity, and would now be ready to 
22 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

comply with his demands. Stein hesitated not an instant, nor 
made conditions : he seemed at once to receive new strength ; 
and, before many weeks, joined the court at Memel. There could 
not well be a greater contrast than between those two celebrated 
ministers — Stein and Hardenberg. Stein was firm as a rock, fiery, 
rough, faithful, quick in perception, and careless of appearances ; 
Hardenberg, soft and yielding*, liberal, open, spreading* joy around 
him. The one a Stoic ; the other, if not an Epicurean, enjoying* 
much the g*ood things of this life, and splendid in his outlay : 
the one seeming to govern circumstances ; the other looking out 
whence the wind came : the one for war ; the other for peace. 
Stein, so vehement in conversation, that he forced every one to 
meet him with a decided front, and to become a controversialist ; 
Hardenberg, polished and elegant, adapting himself to tastes and 
persons : the one, a perfect specimen of the fortiter in re ; the 
other, of the suaviter in modo. The king loved Hardenberg with 
a strong and unceasing attachment. To Stein he had always 
accorded genius, but hitherto regarded him more in fear than love. 
Henceforth, however, he was esteemed by the king, queen, and 
royal family as their best friend. One bond of union existed 
between the king and Stein : they hated German metaphysics with 
a perfect hatred. In arguing with men of this class, Stein always 
got into a towering passion,* and fumed out : ' Mere words ; a 
pitiful school jargon, 7 and would say : i Our German youth is in- 
curably infected with this fever of empty speculation : the German 
has an unfortunate instinct, that leads him to grope in abstract 
corners ; and, therefore, he never understands the present moment, 
and falls an easy prey to the cunning aggressor. 7 How this doughty 
champion of practicality would have chuckled over the significant 
lamentation of Hegel : - 1 have met with only one man who under- 
stands my philosophy, and he does not ! ? Both the king and 
Stein belonged to the class of practical Germans, who so strongly 
resemble the Scotch. In his own councils, his majesty was ever 
exclaiming : c To the point ! to the point ! 7 But Stein could 
make a whole nation act to the point. Stein was a helmsman for 
the roughest weather ; the king for a calm moonlight night. We 
have spoken of Frederick- William, when troublous times first 
came on him, with our Charles I., but great was the contrast when 
these thickened ; for we find from the queen's letters, and from 
his conduct to Stein, that the king had the magnanimity both to 
confess his errors and to repair them ; and although in the outset 
he displayed the weakness of weak rulers, waiting to be, if possible, 
on the winning side, and throughout the whole war had strong 
aggressive measures forced on him, rather than adopted them, 
still he had the merit, the very opposite of the Stuart race, of 

* Like men of his temperament, however, in a great crisis he was calm. When 
all were marshalling for the Liberation War, he was told Goethe had said, the 
people might shake their chains, but would only rivet them the faster. Stein 
coolly remarked : ' Just let him talk ; he is getting old.' 

23 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

yielding* honestly and graciously, if not timously. With his later 
promise of a constitution never fulfilled, and his conscientious endea- 
vours to force c a state conscience 7 on his people, we have nothing 
here to do. Louisa was more impulsive and high spirited than the 
king, but she had not force of character enough, and loved him 
with too intense a love to see with other eyes than his. Stein was 
assuredly no flatterer, and there can be no better testimony to 
their worth as well as his own, widely different as they were in 
disposition, than the high terms in which he speaks of their exalted 
virtues, and even talents. He would say : c The king is the most 
clear-sighted of us all, but as unconscious as a child is of its 
innocence.' 

The condition of Prussia was now deplorable in the extreme. 
She was deprived of all her conquests made by the Great Frede- 
rick excepting' Silesia, and even the towns and fortresses in her 
possession were garrisoned by French soldiers ; the whole country 
subject to the most enormous exactions, and means lacking to 
discharge them. Stein writes to his wife : c The sufferings of the 
people are unendurable, and the number of impoverished families 
daily increasing ; domestic and public comfort all gone.' William, 
Prince of Prussia, went to Paris to intercede for his wretched 
country. This noble prince had formerly remonstrated with his 
brother. He, and his no less noble wife, now offered to suffer 
imprisonment till the exactions were paid ; but this the despot 
declined, granting, however, no alleviation of the burdens. A 
proposal was made in the Prussian cabinet, to marry the crown- 
prince to the daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, but Stein instantly 
rejected it. We wish we could tell the wonders done by him for 
his country, in conjunction with the generals Scharnhorst and 
Gneisenau, who remodelled the army ; and how, when he strode 
on too fast for the king, the queen — a blessed peacemaker — would 
write entreating him to have patience, and the king would be sure 
to accede to his desires. In his short ministry of fourteen months, 
his bold reforms and retrenchments had reached every department 
in the state ; he had emancipated the serfs ; he was the promul- 
gator of an altogether new agrarian law. He was not, however, 
the founder of the Tugendbund, as was universally supposed, till 
the publication of his life, nor even a member of it. Niebuhr, 
Scharnhorst, Blucher, Schleirmacher, all the first men, held aloof 
from it, regarding secret associations as unsuited to the German 
people. The king and queen also viewed it with suspicion. This 
union — a sort of general self-denying ordinance, and bond to 
strengthen government and repel the invader — must have aided 
the good work, but the king was forced by Napoleon to dissolve it 
in 1809. At length, Napoleon's spies intercepted the correspondence 
of Stein ; he was forced to resign, and by a decree of December 16, 
1808, Le nomme Stein (a certain Stein) i trying to create distur- 
bances/ was declared an outlaw, and the whole of his property, 
which had been six hundred and seventy-five years in the family, 

24 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

confiscated. On the night before he left Berlin, when his friends 
in deep emotion were gathered round him, one of them said : 
i Your excellency is now robbed of your ancient inheritance by the 
French ; we Prussians must win it back for you with our blood ! ? 
And nobly was the pledge redeemed. Stein took refuge on Bohe- 
mian ground, and afterwards entered into the service of Russia. 
But wherever hatred of the tyrant and hope of freedom for 
Germany existed, he found a home. With fire glowing in his 
soul, scorn flashing from his eyes, and tempest-clouds resting on 
his noble brow, he was everywhere secretly laying trains, and 
waiting, with what patience he could, for the fitting time to fire 
them off in the face of the oppressor. Napoleon's hatred had 
pointed out a leader to his enemies ; one who now stands in the 
foremost rank of patriots and statesmen. 

The king and queen continued to live at Memel almost in a state 
of privation. Their table was as scanty as that of a small trades- 
man, and their house so small, that the two elder princes were 
lodged in that of a merchant, whose amiable wife the queen, in the 
midst of her own privations, found means of surprising with a 
birthday-fete. During the miseries of the war, the poor people 
had been reduced to such wretchedness, that mothers even 
abandoned their children in despair. A Foundling Hospital was 
instituted in Berlin, which the queen, in a most touching letter, 
consented should be called by her name. In December 1807, the 
country having been evacuated as far as Weichsal, the royal family 
returned to Konigsberg', where, on the 1st of February following, 
the Princess Louisa was born. On the 6th March, the crown- 
prince, although only thirteen, was installed rector of the university, 
to the great gratification of his royal parents. This was the first 
public tribute to the talents of Frederick- William IV., the present 
king of Prussia, universally allowed to be one of the most accom- 
plished men in Europe. The king and queen were profoundly 
grave in their demeanour, and yet cheerful, seeking, especially the 
queen, to inspire others with hope. They frequently were heard to 
say : ' Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth ; ' and the queen wrote : 
c If posterity will not place my name among celebrated women, 
yet those who know what I have gone through will say : " She 
suffered much, and endured with patience." 7 One Sunday, when 
Archbishop Borowsky found her alone reading the Bible, she spoke 
much of the 126th psalm as very precious to her, and with a clear 
soft voice and ecstatic countenance, added : i When the Lord shall 
liberate the captives, and the heavily burdened shall be released, 
then all will appear to us as if we had been dreamers ; then will 
our lips be opened in praise, and our tongues utter songs of 
triumph ; then will the world say of us, The Lord hath done great 
things for them. Lord, look down upon our sorrows, and make an 
end of our afflictions. Thou who hast set bounds to the raging 
sea, make those who have sown in tears reap in joy. ? Thus cheered 
and sustained by her exalted piety, blest in the love of her children 

25 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

and all the royal family, adored by her husband, of whom she 
wrote : c The king is more tender to me than ever ; a great happi- 
ness and consolation after a fourteen years' union : we are always 
new and indispensable to each other 7 — she had also the strong- 
consolation of knowing* that the attachment of the people was 
unshaken. Of this, ever since the period we have called the culmi- 
nating-point, before the frenzy had subsided, or the base adulator 
of tyranny returned to his allegiance, the sovereigns had received 
frequent and touching proofs, which the queen often spoke of with 
emotion. As time wore on, sparks were everywhere appearing', 
indicative of the coming flame. Since the rule of the usurper, 
the birthdays of the royal family were passed over in silence. 
In the theatre at Berlin, 10th March 1808, the birthday of the 
queen, Iffland and Jacobi called for a cheer, which was enthusias- 
tically responded to. They were placed under arrest. The birth- 
day of the oppressor must, however, be celebrated. An inhabitant 
of Hamburg once placed over his door in large letters, but a little 
apart, the word Zwang (thraldom). When called to account by 
the prefect, he calmly said it meant, Zur Weihe an Napoleon's 
Geburtstag (to the celebration of Napoleon's birthday). In such 
sallies, and in words of scorn, did the voice of the German people 
find an utterance. The professors and teachers of youth assidu- 
ously fanned the flame. Gymnastics, long neglected, were re-intro- 
duced, as tending to heighten moral courage. As Jahn marched 
with his pupils out of Berlin, and passed underneath the Branden- 
burg gate, he would ask the new ones : 6 What are you thinking 
of now 1 J If the boy hesitated, he would give him a box on the 
ear, saying indignantly : * You should be thinking of how you 
€an bring back the four fine statues of horses that once stood over 
this g-ate, and were carried by the French to Paris.' 

The renewal of hostilities between France and Austria, the seat 
of war being so near the capital as Saxony, and the disastrous 
state of affairs in Spain, deeply affected Louisa's mind, and a 
serious ague, which prostrated her strength, followed. She now 
writes to her father : — 

< It is all over with us ; if not for ever, at least for the present. 
I am quite resigned to this dispensation of Heaven, and if not in 
temporal happiness, yet spiritually blessed. It is always becoming 
clearer to me, that Providence is bringing about a new order of 
things, for the old has crumbled and fallen to pieces. We were 
slumbering on the laurels of Frederick the Great, who, lord 
of his own age, became the creator of a new one. With this new 
age we have not advanced, therefore it has outrun us. No one 
sees this more clearly than the king, and after much thought 
he has frequently said, it must be otherwise with us now.' Of 
Napoleon, she says : i It were blasphemy to say that God is with 
him, but he is manifestly an instrument in the hand of the 
Almighty to abolish the old order of things, which has no more 
life in it. Improvement is sure to come, but good can be done 

26 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

only by the good ; and, therefore, I believe not that Napoleon is 
secure on his now brilliant throne. It is only truth and justice 
that can be secure ; and he is politic, that is, cunning, and does 
not follow unchangeable laws, but acts as circumstances direct.' 

Louisa was now greatly changed, and there is every reason to 
believe that the seeds of her insidious disease had been sown at 
the period of the fatal Peace of Tilsit. Outward composure, the 
effort to bear foul wrong, injustice, and misfortune, had produced 
its usual effect of heightening the inward tension. She is described 
as now more interesting than ever ; her cheeks were pale, and there 
was frequently a slight quivering of the lips ; her expression was 
full of that depth and elevation and subdued pathos which a large 
experience of sorrow gives to those who have proved its high and 
sacred uses ; her eyes had lost their brilliancy, and it was evident 
that she wept much ; but there were other tears, as we shall rind, 
that had been turned into drops of blood, and were all congealed 
around her heart. She now said : c I feel daily more and more that 
my kingdom is not of this world.' In October 1809, preceded and 
followed by long indisposition, was born Albert, Louisa's youngest 
child, the last of ten births and of seven living children, all of 
whom still survive. The following December was fixed for their 
return to Berlin, to which Louisa looked forward with longing, and 
yet an indefinable apprehension. She wrote : i I shed so many tears 
when I think of it, that I know not what I shall feel when I 
arrive, and find all the same and yet so altered. Dark forebodings 

trouble me I hope it will be otherwise.' The journey was a 

triumphal procession ; and on the very day on which, sixteen years 
before, she had entered as a bride, she now, seated in a carriage 
presented to her by the citizens, richly adorned with silver, and 
tastefully decorated with her favourite colour of lilac, was greeted 
with a still more enthusiastic welcome, and received in the arms 
of her beloved father at the entrance to the palace. The king did 
what he could to moderate all costly demonstrations of joy, and 
continued his own strictly simple mode of life. When asked 
whether a certain quantity of champagne should be ordered, he 
replied : i Not till all my subjects can afford to drink beer again,' 

In the spring of 1810, Louisa visited Paretz, Sans Souci, and the 
Peacock Island, those scenes of former happiness ; , and there were 
times when her sad foreboding's seemed forgotten, and gleams of 
cheerfulness appeared, which so delighted the king, that he would 
exclaim : i The queen is quite herself to-day. Once she was always 
gay. fetter times are in store for us, I hope and trust.' But these 
were only gleams. At the celebration of her birthday, it was by 
a great effort that Louisa preserved her composure. She said : i I 
think this will be the last time I shall celebrate my birthday here.' 
She was soon after seized with a violent cough and fever, and, for 
the first time, with those fatal spasms in the chest, indicative of 
deep-seated disease. She revived, however, as summer approached, 

and her desire to fulfil a long-cherished design of visiting her 

27 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

father became so ardent, that her departure was fixed for the 25th 
of June. She left Chariot tenburg early in the morning, and 
seemed tranquil during the first part of the journey, but on enter- 
ing the frontiers of Mecklenburg, a profound melancholy seized 
her. At Fiirstenberg, she was met by her father, her sister 
Frederica, and her two brothers. She exclaimed : i Ah, there is 
my father ! ? and with increased sadness and flowing tears sank 
into his arms. She soon regained her cheerfulness, and resuming 
her journey, arrived at Strelitz at seven in the evening, amidst the 
loud acclamations of the people. Another moment, and she was 
under the much-longed for paternal roof; but over every one 
there was an undefinable sadness. It had come to their turn to 
feel that a voice was speaking to them, but they knew not as yet 
the words of Him that spake. That awful stillness without rest, 
that waking swoon, the sure presage of coming calamity, had 
fallen upon them. One other gleam ere the scene darkens. A 
reception was held on the 27th, at which Louisa seemed to most 
eyes lovelier than ever, from the mingled expression of dignity, 
serenity, and chastened sorrow diffused over her noble countenance. 
From a tender feeling of reserve, the subject of her misfor- 
tunes was avoided ; but she often spoke of them herself in an 
exalted strain of resignation, and as if to make a general diffusion 
of her views of the high uses of affliction. After a long conversa- 
tion with her brother, she said : c Dear George, I am now com- 
pletely happy ; ' and sitting down at her father's writing-table, she 
wrote on a scrap of paper : c My dear father, I am very happy 
to-day as your daughter, and the wife of the best of husbands.' 
These are the last words she wrote, and they were preserved by 
the king as sacred relics. On the 28th, the whole court removed 
to the duke's castle of Hohenzieritz, that the queen might enjoy 
undisturbed the repose of the country. She had already begun to 
suffer from catarrh and slight fever, and retired early ; and on the 
29th, pain in the head and great oppression came on ; but feeling 
somewhat better towards evening, she joined the family circle at 
tea in the garden. It was for the last time ; and on the sacred spot 
there now stands a monument to the memory of her whom her 
father, whose greatest pride she was, used to call c The Princess of 
Princesses/ which, coming from him, must have been dearer to 
her than every other epithet. Next day, the oppression increased 
so much, that she desired to be bled. During the operation she 
swooned, but soon revived, and seemed, on the whole, to be so 
much relieved, that on the 3d July the king set out for Berlin on 
urgent affairs. Scarcely was he gone, when the fever increased, 
and the cough became more xirgent ; her nights were sleepless, 
and the slightest exertion brought on fainting. But her mind 
was perfectly tranquil ; she often repeated hymns in the silent 
watches of the night, and dwelt much on the sweet memory of 
her early lost mother. She was nursed with the most passionate 
devotion by her sister Frederica ; who soon after again a widow, 



28 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

married in 1815 the Duke of Cumberland, and was tlie mother 
of the present king* of Hanover. About the eleventh day, 
an abscess on the lung's broke, and the physicians, who had been 
sent from Berlin by the king*, cherished hopes of her recovery, in 
which all around participated — the queen's cheerfulness, the 
clearness and strength of her mind when she spoke in low tones 
during the intervals of her cough, a vein of pleasantry even some- 
times apparent, filling them with futile hope. She took a lively 
interest in public movements ; was much moved by the letters of 
sympathy which arrived from the empress of Austria, and many 
others, besides the members of the Prussian royal family; and 
deeply so by one from the king (who was slightly indisposed), so 
very tender, that she laid it on her heart and kept it there. An- 
other, also, from her eldest daughter, written on her birthday, 
full of charming innocent expressions of grief at the absence of 
her beloved mother, agitated the queen so deeply, that she could 
never listen to its conclusion. A few days of ameliorated symptoms 
now ensued ; but on the morning of Monday the 16th, she was 
attacked with violent spasms in the chest, which for five hours 
held her in agony. The physicians declared there was no longer 
any hope, an organic disease of the heart being the cause of the 
spasms. The duke was now informed of the impending blow, and 
couriers were sent to hasten the return of the king. The spasms 
returned the following morning, but with less violence. The queen 
placed great reliance on the remedies used, and did not yet appre- 
hend danger. On the 18th, the spasms continued at intervals all 
day. She frequently sighed, and said : ' Air ! air ! ' but gave no sign 
of impatience. She expressed herself thankful that it was a cloudy 
day, hoping it might cool the violence of her fever. During the 
evening, she first became apprehensive that one of these violent 
spasms might prove fatal. She said : ' It would be dreadful — the 
king and the children V Longing for his arrival, she would ask : 
6 Will he soon come ? How late is it 1 ' In the early part of the 
night, the queen slept tranquilly — the whole family watching 
except the aged duke, who had been persuaded to repose for a 
time. At three in the morning the spasms returned, and it 
became evident that life was waning fast. The duke being in- 
formed, rose up, devoutly saying: 'Lord, thy ways are not as 
our ways ! ; An hour after, the king arrived, and was now told, 
for the first time, that there was no hope. By a strong effort 
he preserved outward composure; but when reminded that 
with God all things are possible, he said, in the natural and 
despairing accents of one who has suffered much : ' Ah ! if she 
were not mine, she might recover ; but as she is my wife, she will 
certainly die. J He trembled so violently when he clasped his 
dying consort, that she asked : c Why are you so agitated ? Am I 
in such great danger 1 ' 

He essayed to utter some soothing words, adding: c God be 
praised that I am here ! ? 

29 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

She then asked : c Who came with you ? ? 

f Frederick and William/ replied the king*. 

She exclaimed : ' O what joy ! ? 

At the word joy, the king, completely overcome, quitted the 
room, on pretence of bringing* his sons. But Louisa had taken alarm 
at the king's manner, and said to her attendant she had promised 
herself so much pleasure in seeing the king, but that his embrace 
was so vehement, it seemed as if he were saying a last farewell. 
Not long after, she said : * What is all earthly greatness 1 I am 
called a queen, and yet I cannot move my arms ! ? 

When the king returned with his sons, she exclaimed : c My 
dear Frederick ! my dear William ! 7 The princes wept in silence. 
The fond mother began to ask them of the dear ones at home ; 
but the spasms returned, and they were obliged to quit the room. 
One more respite from suffering came, and the husband and wife 
were left for some time alone together. Their sacred communings 
were broken by the death-agony, and the king called in the physi- 
cians, who, with the whole family, now assembled round her bed. 
The king held her right hand ; her sister Frederica, kneeling, held 
the left. The queen complained of want of air. Change of posi- 
tion, every alleviation was tried ; but her sufferings only increased, 
and in clear firm tones she said : c Ah ! for me there is no rest but 
in death.' Another short pause, and then the last struggle. She 
exclaimed : c Lord Jesus, shorten my sufferings ! ' heaved one deep 
sigh, and expired. This was about nine of the clock on the 19th 
of July 1810. The heavens were overshadowed, and the morning 
dismal and rainy. The king had sunk back overwhelmed, but soon 
rose hastily, and, with a look of inexpressible anguish, closed those 
eyes that had never been turned on him but with looks of love. 
About an hour afterwards, the Princess Charlotte and Prince 
Charles arrived, and the whole of the children broke out into the 
most passionate lamentations, the king still continuing to gaze, 
his mouth quivering with agony. Through all her sufferings, the 
queen's features had never been distorted ; and now there rested 
on them a beatific calm. It is scarcely figurative to say, that 
Louisa died of a broken heart ; for it was found, on examination, 
that her heart was crushed between the wide-spreading branches 
of a polypus, two of which had grown into it. But till that heart 
ceased to beat, no mere earthly incasement could hinder it from 
sending forth all manner of fair and wholesome blossoms. The 
remains of 'the angel queen/ as she was often termed, were 
placed for a time in the royal cathedral of Berlin, and removed 
the following December to their final resting-place at Char- 
lottenburg, where, in the splendid mausoleum, enlarged and 
embellished by the filial piety of the present king 1 , there now 
stands Rauch's incomparable statue of Louisa in Carrara marble, 
of which it has been said, that 'through the transparency of 
the marble winding-sheet that covers her, you fancy you discern 
flesh not yet entirely chilled; 7 and in presence of which, the great 

30 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA. 

artist Bottiger felt he dared not speak, lest he should awake this 
blessed spirit to a world of care. Opposite to this exquisite work 
of art stands a statue of the king-, who survived his consort thirty 
years, having 1 died in June 1840. Likenesses of the queen were 
multiplied in every form. The artist Ternite was commanded to 
paint her as she had never been represented before — as a sovereign. 
A drawing" had been made of her after her death, on first seeing* 
which the king" exclaimed : s Fearfully true ! ' and burst into tears, 
the first he had been seen to shed. In memory of their happy 
union, the king 1 instituted the Louisen Denkmal, by which three 
bridal couples receive 100 dollars each on the anniversary of the 
queen's death ; and the Louisen Stiftung, for educating* precep- 
tresses of youth. He also instituted, after the Liberation War, on 
the queen's birthday, the order of the Iron Cross, in memory of 
the struggles, oppression, and final triumph of Prussia; and 
another order, that of the Golden Cross, called the Louisen Orden^ 
to be worn by all her own sex, from the noble lady to the wife 
of the artisan, who, during* the struggle, had tended the sick and 
wounded, enemies as well as countrymen. 

When the news of the death of the queen, so suddenly cut down 
at the early age of thirty-four, had spread throughout the Prussian 
land, it seemed as if there was not a house in which there was 
not one dead. In solemn death-chime, bell answered to bell. 
From the stately palace in the gay city, to the rude hut in the 
most remote hamlet, she was regarded as a saint ; and throughout 
all Europe, as the victim of the war. Of four daughters of rare 
charms and virtues, 'the four fair sisters near the throne/ to 
whom Jean Paul dedicated his Titan, the blest parent had now 
to mourn the fairest not of them alone, but the fairest among 
ten thousand. The admirable Princess William, in a touching 
letter to Stein, after saying how she repented of every word she 
might have uttered in disparagement of the queen, adds : c For 
now I clearly see that if I did so, it certainly arose from envy — 
because she was so much better than U A true testimony to the 
worth of the writer, as well as to that of the illustrious deceased. 
But the tears of Louisa, and the mute and heart-stricken reverence 
with which the king worshipped her memory, supplied new 
nourishment to the growing spirit of liberty, and inspired the 
pen of the poet with one only theme. And could she have fore- 
seen the splendid victories to be achieved, the noble Prince of 
Prussia, who had first remonstrated, then offered himself a captive, 
now leading forth his country's legions; and the gallant old 
Blucher, the hero of the Katzbach, heading the furious charge, 
when the windows of heaven were opened, and the floods descended, 
and heaven's dread artillery answered to man's, still exclaiming 
1 On ! forwards I ' his gray hair, on which seventy-one summers 
had shone, streaming in the wind, his keen blue eye gleaming to 
the lightning flash ; and how his cry was still ' On ! forwards ! ' 
till, by the glorious victory of Leipzic, the accursed invader was 

31 



LOUISA, QUEEN OF PRUSSIA, 

driven from the soil, she might have died in triumph as well as 
in peace. When the king- returned triumphant from the war, 
after offering* up public thanks to Almighty God, he repaired to 
Charlottenburg, and, with deep emotion and uncovered head, laid 
a laurel-wreath on the tomb of her who had never ceased to 
predict a day of victory ; in the joy of which, from her exquisitely 
sensitive nature, she lived not to participate. And who can look 
around and see that every good work demands a sacrifice, and 
listen to the words of the Eternal, which saith : * As many as 
I love, I rebuke and chasten/ and not deem hers an eminently 
happy lot ? She had many years of rare felicity, such as evidently 
filled her own meek soul with wonder and vague dread; and 
when troublous times arose, the sting was taken from her 
wounds both by heavenly and earthly love. A few days of 
suffering — the darkened chamber — the sorrow of friends — the 
death -clutch of agony — then all was still. And never was 
there laid dust to dust with a more sure and certain hope of a 
glorious resurrection. 





THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 



i. 



==©i 




v OTHING has so singular a fascination for the 
mind as the idea of exploring* an unknown river. 
We daresay that most of our readers have in 
their boyhood, like ourselves, determined, in a 
moment of geographical enthusiasm, to devote 
their energies, when they shall have arrived at 
man's estate, to throwing the exploits of Bruce 
fror Mungo Park into the shade. For our part, we were 
once actually on the point — at least so we told our friends 
— of starting* for the sources of the White Nile ; but a pair 
of bright eyes that flashed upon us on board the Folkestone 
boat led us away via Aix-la-Chapelle and Cologne as far as 
Heidelberg, where we discovered that the said bright eyes were 
on their way to be married with a very poetical pair of blue 
eyes belonging to a German professor. Thus we did the Rhine 
59 1 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

instead of doing* the Nile ; and afterwards walked through 
Switzerland with our heart in a sling*, and spent a month drinking 1 
milk in a real chalet. 

Our friend Victor Moreau, when engaged in his law studies at 
Paris, used to express a- great desire to navigate the Amazon, 
which, some comparative fluvial maps hung up in the Rue 
Castiglione informed him, was the largest river in the world. 
Nothing less would satisfy his ambition, although he had never 
seen any stream of water except the Seine, for he was born at 
Etampes, and had not even ventured so far as the Loire. One 
day he happened to be strolling across the Pont Royal with some 
friends, and stopped to lean over the parapet. ' What is the 
reason, 7 exclaimed one of his companions, c that this moving 
volume of water excites in us romantic feelings? I never see 
those ripples and those eddies without allowing myself to be carried, 
according to my mood of mind, aw ay into the past or into the 
future. Generally speaking, the current takes me with it, and I 
travel down the stream, making it an image of my own life, which 
widens its bounds as it proceeds, receiving ever new tributes of 
thoughts and impressions. 7 

i For my part, 7 said another, £ I seldom pass here without 
thinking of that capital boating-match in which we were all 
nearly drowned under the bridge of Asnieres. 7 

* You are a prosy fellow, 7 said Victor. c Lucien 7 s ideas suit me 
better, although I confess that this paltry stream serves only the 
purpose of suggestion, just as a pool may give us the notion of a 
sea. What do you say to making up a party for exploring the 
Amazon 1 7 

The young men laughed for the hundredth time at this proposal, 
which Victor used periodically to make in the same tone with 
which others would talk of an excursion to St Germain. Every- 
body knew that it was a harmless aspiration, to be classed with 
those which some young ladies express about being little birds, 
butterflies, or summer clouds, when they feel an indolent tendency 
to locomotion. The fact was, that Victor was the least enterprising 
of men. Since his arrival in Paris, he had scarcely ever been 
beyond the, walls, and then only by rail or omnibus. It was 
currently reported, that he had not even ventured on board the 
St Cloud steamer. There was little likelihood, therefore, of his 
blossoming into a celebrated traveller. Lucien Artenay, his 
friend, had made the tour of France, taken a run through Pied- 
mont, gone over to see the Great Exhibition, and spent a week at 
Brussels. He was, therefore, looked upon as a phenomenon, and 
a young author of his acquaintance had proposed to write his 
biography. There is no people so stay-at-home as the French. 
Their activity spends itself in the narrowest possible circle ; and 
if they do move out of it by any chance, they consider them- 
selves to have accomplished a feat. We have a friend who has 
been making up his mind for the last six months to go to Vichy. 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

He has bought a portmanteau, a pair of pistols, a map, a pocket- 
compass, an impermeable cloak, and a book on the manners and 
institutions of the country ; but it is very doubtful whether his 
courage will not fail him at the last moment. However, he has 
gained already an anticipated reputation among his friends, who 
call him The Traveller. 

Lucien was rather an exception among Frenchmen. He so 
rarely talked of his excursions, that some people believed he had 
never made them. Like Victor, he had formed vast plans of 
exploration, but unlike him, it was at first with the serious idea of 
carrying them out. If he had not done so, the reason lay with 
others. His parents, who were solidly established in business on 
the Boulevards, objected to allowing their only son to risk his life 
and limbs in such useless expeditions, and were careful to prevent 
his breaking bounds by keeping him on a limited supply of 
money. Perhaps he did not take very energetic means to change 
their resolution ; and it is reported, that after he had passed the 
age of twenty, he seldom referred to his wandering schemes 
except when allusion was made to the necessity of marriage. Not 
that he had any theoretical hatred of that institution; but the 
fact was, that M. and Madame Artenay had set their wishes on a 
union between him and Mademoiselle Caroline Cauchard, who 
was very deficient in geogTaphical knowledge, but who, on the 
other hand, had expectations of a large fortune from her father, a 
retired grocer of the Marais. On one occasion, when this matter 
was pressed very hard upon the young man, he brought home 
his newly-made acquaintance, Yictor Moreau, and talked the 
whole evening of Americanus Vespuccius, the Orinoco, the 
Amazon, and other terrible topics. Victor was in his glory. He 
drank a huge amount of sugar and water, and had the impudence to 
propose to M. Artenay himself to join in his fluvial explorations. 

' Take care how you associate much with that young man/ 
said Madame Artenay to her son next morning. c I never knew 
any good come from any one who talked of going a long way off.' 

In this good woman's mind, one of the capital sins was vagrancy. 
We form most of our opinions from our affections; and it is 
quite certain that, had it been in her power, she would have 
condemned to transportation — the greatest punishment she knew 
of — any one who should persuade her boy to cross the French 
frontier into the savage regions beyond. Her dutiful son had 
taken care never to boast in her presence of his scraps of foreign 
travel. 

Having thus, to the best of our ability, introduced our two 
young friends, Victor Moreau and Lucien Artenay, to the reader's 
acquaintance, we shall accompany them, when they left their 
friends, to the lodging of the former, situated in the neighbour- 
hood of the Luxembourg. As they walked along arm in arm, 
several grisettes turned back to look at them, from which it will 
readily be inferred, that they were both fine handsome fellows. 

3 



THE BASKET OF CHERHIES. 

Victor was tall, light-haired, and elegant, though with a slight 
stoop. Lucien, who stood uprig'ht like a dart, scarcely reached 
the middle heig'ht ; but we suspect that two-thirds of the admira- 
tion bestowed was meant for his black curls, brilliant eyes, and 
nascent mustache, that just shaded the corners of his mouth. 
Neither of the friends suspected that they attracted attention, for 
they were both absorbed in the discussion of a plan which had just 
suggested itself to Lucien — namely, that as it was necessary for 
the present to postpone acquaintance with the Amazon, it would 
be pleasant, agreeable, and profitable to mind and body, to make 
an excursion on the Seine, the bordering- countries of which neither 
of them knew. ' Who knows ? ? said Victor, warming as he went, 
' perhaps we may succeed in discovering the source/ They spent 
an hour or two in debating the preliminaries ; but before they 
separated, it was settled that they should start next Monday, wind 
and weather permitting, and proceed by steamer, or other means, 
up the river ; and that they should not come back until they had 
either enlarged the domain of science, or their own acquaintance 
with physical and human nature. 

1 1 propose/ said Victor, who had a perfect mania for proposi- 
tions, [ that we should fall in love by the way. There is nothing' 
that passes the time like that sort of thing. 7 

Lucien shook his head ; for he felt that it would be undutiful in 
him, after having professed so often an exclusive passion for loco- 
motion, thus to shut the door upon the hopes entertained by his 
parents with reference to Caroline Cauchard. 

Victor was in a totally different position from Lucien. His 
parents had sent him up from the country to pursue his studies 
with what is considered a handsome allowance for a young man in 
Paris — 2000 francs a year. He occupied a pretty little apartment 
in the Rue Madame, and always talked of adorning the walls of 
his sitting-room with the best maps he could lay hands on. When 
his friends came to see him, they always looked inquisitively at 
the bare walls, upon which Victor would protest that the very 
next week he intended to purchase a whole geographical library, 
including a huge pair of globes. He is not the only person in this 
world who passes his life in making grand promises to himself — 
for he was really sincere when he spoke — and who sees year after 
year pass away, not only without increasing his instruments of 
knowledge, but without making any good acquisition either 
material or moral. 

II. 

c You will never be able to carry that basket of cherries down 
to the boat, mademoiselle/ said a huge country-looking young 
fellow, in a somewhat dirty blouse, to a smartly-dressed damsel, 
who was standing- with the basket on her arm at the door of a 
fruit-seller's shop in the Rue de Seine. She was bending over 

4 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

to counterbalance the weight, and her healthy cheeks, flushed 
more than usual by the exertion, surpassed the brilliance of the 
fruit itself. 

She cast only a half-glance at her interlocutor, and replied with 
a slightly contemptuous curl of her lip : c I could not think, 
Monsieur Joseph, of taking you away from your business/ 

6 It is no trouble,' quoth the clown, who did not, however, offer 
to take the basket by force, as we should have done in his place, 
but stood half-hesitating whether or not to go away. 

\ 1 can do very well by myself/ she continued, staggering' away 
with her load. 

Joseph scratched his head, took a step after her, paused, and 
turning short round, went into a wine-shop to take a glass of 
brandy, still, however, with the vague idea of running after the 
girl, and offering his services. The fate of his whole life was 
probably decided at that moment ; for this was his story : — About 
two years before, he had left Le Buisson, his native village, to 
come up to Paris and establish himself as a grocer in partnership 
with a cousin who had already made some way in the world. He 
took away with him the promise of Clarisse Claudet, then not 
more than sixteen, and of her parents — small farmers— that if he 
behaved himself— or, as she understood it, was faithful — or, as they 
understood it, made a great deal of money — the marriage, should 
take place within a reasonable time. Joseph was not particularly 
captivating* in personal appearance — at least it was not thought so 
in Paris ; but he was stout, strong, healthy, good-humoured, hard- 
working, and possessed that fascinating quality of simplicity which 
we all have at a certain period of life, and which we nearly all, 
sooner or later, lose. The French say in their proverb, that youth 
is the beauty of the devil — a mysterious allusion, which we do not 
quite understand. Perhaps it means, that when we are young 
we hold out hopes of goodness as a snare, for we all seem good at 
that time ; whereas afterwards, the characters of evil are gradually 
written on our countenances. Sin is ugliness ; bad passions alone 
distort the features ; a frown leaves a furrow behind it, but a smile 
flashes round our lips, and no trace remains. At anyrate, Clarisse 
looked upon the broad open countenance of Joseph, and thought 
she loved him ; and she did so with the love of sixteen — a prema- 
ture feeling suggested from without, not from within : in towns, 
forced into life by reading of novels and poetry — in the country, 
by the rude jingling' songs which girls go singing' along the green 
lanes, at first with the unconsciousness of birds waked into music 
by the morning' sun, and then with the half-comprehension which 
the familiar use of sentimental words and phrases brings on. 
These damsels who leave their wax and saw-dust playthings too 
soon, are sure to treat love as a plaything. Clarisse was won by 
a bunch of flowers given to her as she came out of mass one 
Sunday morning ; and the greatest sign of affection she had ever 
exhibited for Joseph was to box the ears of one of her comrades, 

5 



THE BASKET OF CHERKIES. 

twice as tall as herself, for saying* that he was a fool. His court- 
ship, which consisted in his coming* to see her every evening, and 
looking' at her as a cat looks at a linnet in a cage, and in claiming 
her hand when there was a dance under the elm-tree row at the 
hour when the sun threw its last beams horizontally over the great 
beet-root fields on either side ; when the flies came from the surface 
of the neighbouring stream to buzz about the head of the fiddler, 
and almost drown the notes of his instrument ; when the old 
people of the village were sitting on their three-legged stools here 
and there, some smoking, some nodding, some even whispering* 
about the capers they used to cut half a century before — this 
courtship, we say, lasted some six months ; at the end of which, 
Joseph kissed the two old Claudets on both cheeks, for the first 
time saluted Clarisse — as she said, by biting the tip of her ear in 
his confusion — and shouldering a packet, wrapped up in an old 
blouse, and swung on the end of a stick, started off for Paris. Half 
the village accompanied him a mile on his way, and Clarisse, we 
must remember to mention, soon insisted on carrying the bundle. 
When they came to the high road, the peasants, who always think 
of the main chance, shouted out to him when he was more than 
fifty yards off, to make plenty of money ; but his mother, who 
leaned trembling on a stick, cried merely : ' Bring back yourself, 
JosephJ ' He did not hear those words, for her voice was feeble, 
but he heard what the others said ; and as he trudged along, 
shaking off his sorrow, he began to grasp Paris in the clutches of 
his mind, and turn it over and examine it, and to think how much 
he might make out of it in a given number of years. 

He was fortunate in a worldly point of view. His cousin's 
business soon became a flourishing one, and Joseph learned with 
astonishing rapidity the arts by which profit is made in a retail- 
shop in Paris. In a very few weeks, his conscience ceased to twit 
him for the thickness of the paper used in weighing butter, and 
for the omission of the extra grammes necessary to make up small 
portions. In less than a month, he became perfectly reckless as 
to the quantity of chicory surreptitiously mixed with the ground 
coffee ; and soon afterwards he learned to aver that an egg, which 
he knew to be bad, was fresh laid. From these details, it will 
appear that he w r as not established in a fashionable street. His 
customers were poor people, who sometimes had not above a few 
sous to lay out, and who would often humbly demand credit. 
Half a year after he began business, Joseph distinguished himself 
by accepting a poor widow's bonnet in pledge for a pound of sugar. 
Narcisse, his cousin, was amazed, and wrote home to Le Buisson to 
say that his partner was worth his weight in gold, and would 
undoubtedly make his fortune. The Claudets shewed the letter 
about the village; and Clarisse, influenced by their enthusiasm, 
actually turned her back on the son of a substantial farmer, who 
was taking* advantage of Joseph's absence to pay his addresses. 
The poor girl thought that the praises bestowed on her affianced 

6 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

were earned by some wonderful financial capacity he had 
exhibited. 

It would be too long* to trace the progress by which, within a 
couple of years, Joseph became fat and prosperous. It would be too 
disagreeable to relate in detail how he became corrupted and selfish. 
He led the life which people of his class usually lead in Paris. 
The time that was not devoted to money-making*, was spent in 
debauchery, in drinking", and in card-playing 1 . By degrees, he 
almost forgot the existence of Clarisse, or, at anyrate, looked upon 
his engagement almost as a bore ; not that he thought of jilting* 
her — but why, after the lapse of two short years, should Father 
Claudet write to him, and mention in a postscript that his daughter 
had grown into a fine healthy young woman, who was ready at a 
moment's notice to fulfil her promise ? Really, this was unpar- 
donable impatience. The girl could wait ; there was no hurry ; 
a year or two more of liberty, if you please. Those stupid old 
people may consider themselves very happy in looking forward to 
such a promising son-in-law. What ! can this be true 1 At the 
end of the month of May, Clarisse will come to Paris, on a visit to 
her maiden aunt, who lives in the Rue cle 1'Echaude! — c There's 
an opportunity for you, my boy ! ; — The old man is mad. Is this 
a time for me to court his daughter 1 I have fifty things to attend 
to — my wine and beer to bottle ; two casks of sugar to get in ; a 
fishing-party on the Marne ; and, above all, Mademoiselle Papillon 
to take to the Chateau Rouge. Seriously, could a worse time 
have been chosen 1 

The visit of Clarisse took place nevertheless. Her stay was not 
long*. The first day she spent dismally at her aunt's, who hap- 
pened to be too ill to gx> out, waiting for her lover to come and see 
her. He sent word by a stout Lorraine girl who served in the 
shop, that he was compelled to go to Bercy to taste wine ; but the 
stupid or unfaithful messenger let out that this was the day 
appointed for the great fishing-excursion, which could nj£ by any 
possibility be put off. Clarisse, who did not suspect that Made- 
moiselle Papillon was of the party, half forgave Joseph, although 
she observed it would have been better had he told the truth. 
Next morning*, she anxiously waited his coming*, and no doubt 
expected to see a fine dashing young fellow, polished quite into a 
Parisian, as he ought to have been in two years. Places grow 
larger, and men and women more beautiful, in memory. The 
Joseph that was in Clarisse's mind did not at all resemble the 
Joseph that started from Le Buisson to make his fortune. Much 
less did he resemble the great awkward lout, who suddenly made 
his appearance, actually without taking" off his cap, in a dirty 
blouse, and with thick shoes, which the dandies of Le Buisson 
would have despised. Clarisse looked inquiringly at her aunt, 
who was sitting in a sick-chair near the window, to know who 
this might be. She had yet to learn, that the provincials who 
come up to Paris to make money in trade, almost always preserve 

7 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

the same coarseness of demeanour they bring? with them, or even 
deteriorate. They seem to take a pride in doing" so. Perhaps they 
feel that it is too late for them to learn good manners, and like the 
awkward boy — the example of a school — become more awkward 
from consciousness. At anyrate, Clarisse did not recognise Joseph 
until he. with a vulgar grin, came up to take hold of her as his 
property, and kiss her. She stepped for protection behind a chair, 
and concealed her inclination to cry under a laugh. Has the reader 
ever had a pail of cold water thrown over him just as he stepped 
out into the street on his way to a ball t If so, he can have some 
idea of what Clarisse felt — except that his clothes only were spoiled, 
whilst all the hopes of her youth were suddenly overwhelmed. 

However, knowing the wishes of her parents, she tried, when 
the first moment of surprise was over, to talk cheerfully to Joseph, 
and instinctively turned the conversation to the price of butter and 
eggs. These were subjects that interested Joseph, and a very 
animated dialogue ensued. Not a word of affection was said on 
either side, except that the big-boned grocer, on going* away, 
giggled out something about the necessity of his sending a nosegay ; 
and, accordingly, despatched the Lorraine an hour afterwards with 
three sous' worth of faded flowers, bought, after a hard bargain, at 
a neighbouring fruiterer's shop. Clarisse threw them out of the 
window. ' That is very wrong/ said her aunt faintly. 

'What would you have done in my place, and at my ageV 
inquired Clarisse, looking full at her. 

i I would have thrown them out, too,' was the reply. 

That evening Clarisse might have damaged her reputation for 
ever. Fearing* that Joseph would return — as, indeed, he did — 
she went out with a merry cousin, married to a pastry-cook living 
in another quarter, and was very nearly induced to go into one 
of the public balls that attract the passers-by by their boisterous 
music and illuminated doorwavs. However, the reason that her 
less sci*]|pulous companion gave — namely, that admission was 
gratis for ladies— effectually deterred her — albeit this objection her 
worthy relative did not understand. She came back to her aunt's, 
quite flurried with the danger she had run, with perhaps some 
slight regret that the rules of propriety prevented her from 
witnessing those wonderful revels of which all male visitors to 
Paris spoke in such rapturous terms. 



III. 

The sentimental reader will easily forgive us, if we do not give 
a very detailed account of the way in which Joseph, during the 
next three or four days, contrived to let Clarisse understand, that 
now that he was well to do in the world, he should expect a more 
respectable dowry than had been agreed upon in former times. 
The poor girl had every inclination in the world to tell him not to 

3 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

trouble himself on that point, for that she was not for him. How- 
ever, she restrained herself, resolving", on her return to Le Buisson, 
to throw herself in her mother's arms, and declare, that on no 
account whatever would she consent to tie herself to a man whom 
she now detested in proportion to her former love. She knew that 
it would be a hard matter to make her father enter into her feelings, 
because he would look principally on the pecuniary side of the 
transaction. The French peasant has many good qualities, but 
he is the most sordid being 1 on the face of the earth. In his view, 
a man who has de quoi (wherewith), that is, plenty of money, is 
alone estimable. Old Claudet was no exception ; and his daughter 
knew that, without the interference of maternal authority, her 
sentimental objections would be laughed at and disregarded. 

On the day on which we have introduced Clarisse to the reader, 
she was preparing- to return home by the steamer that starts from 
the Hotel de Yille at two o'clock in the afternoon. Her aunt was 
too ill to accompany her, and so she had taken a large basket 
with her, and had laid out several francs in buying 1 cherries, as 
a present to her parents. This will seem like carrying- coals to 
Newcastle ; but all round Paris, both flowers and fruit are sup- 
plied by the Halle. Besides, everything- that comes from the 
capital is considered superexcellent ; and we have known instances 
in which Bordeaux wine has been sent as a present from Paris to 
Bordeaux. 

Clarisse was making- her purchase when Joseph passed by, tardily 
on his way to bid her adieu. The fact was, that by a singular 
chance he had another engagement that day — namely, to make a 
late breakfast with his butterman at a restaurant on the Boulevards. 
Breakfasts are not uncommon things, and the idea did suggest 
itself to him, that he might put this one off. But he could not 
make up his mind, and almost missed the opportunity of seeing 
his affianced before she went. It must not be supposed that her 
beauty produced no impression on him ; and when he saw her 
busily engaged in putting the cherries into the basket, the thought 
suddenly came over him, how happy he might be with a charming 
little wife like this behind his counter. If he had believed that 
there was the slightest difficulty in the case, it would have been 
better for him ; but, although Clarisse had treated him with 
supreme indifference, he was perfectly convinced that she might 
be his whenever he chose. On this rock he split ; and when he 
had gruffly saluted the girl, the idea of the breakfast that was 
waiting for him, and the good wine to be drunk with it, all at 
somebody else's expense — a great consideration — flashed across his 
mind. He could not conceal, while he attempted to say a few 
civil things, that his thoughts were elsewhere. For this, however, 
Clarisse cared very little. Her determination was come to ; and, 
to speak the truth, she fervently wished that Joseph might say 
something rude to her, that she might have an additional excuse 
for complaint. She was delighted; therefore, when, in consequence 

59 9 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

of the odour of cutlets being wafted into the nose of Joseph's ima- 
gination, he hesitated to offer his assistance in carrying her basket ; 
and when she turned away saucily from him, felt her heart go 
pit-a-pat at every step she heard behind her, lest it might be the 
grocer with his abhorred politeness. There was no danger of that, 
for when Joseph had finished his petit verve, the butterman passed, 
seized his arm, and off they went together. 

How did it happen, then, that under the portico of the Institute, 
when Clarisse, whose generosity had made her basket too heavy 
for her, paused to take breath, a cheerful voice behind her cried : 
c Shall I assist you, mademoiselle ? ' Before she had time to 
refuse, two young men, who at first sight seemed to be ouvriers 
in their Sunday clothes, seized hold of the basket laughing, and 
went on without attending to her remonstrances. The fact was, 
that our friends, Victor and Lucien, who had breakfasted rather 
freely, to prepare for the fatigues of their journey, and who had 
laid aside their cloth coats to don clean gray blouses, and their 
beavers to make way for travelling-caps, had just sallied forth to 
take their places on board the very steamer to which Clarisse was 
repairing. The young girl ran after her two volunteer porters, 
thinking they were passing a joke on her, and told them rather 
saucily to give her back the basket. c Mademoiselle/ said Lucien, 
taking off "his cap, f if we offend, we will do what you wish ; but 
as you seem to be going our way, it will afford us pleasure to 
assist in preventing from breaking that pretty waist of yours.' 
She saw that they were a little excited, but instinctively felt that 
they were actuated by true politeness ; and glancing at the clock 
of the Institute, understood that without their assistance she 
would be too late for the boat. So she tacitly consented to receive 
it by smiling- and walking on. 

c As I live/ cried Victor, hanging down his head, e there is 
Madame de Beaumont coming across the bridge. 7 

1 She won't look at blouses/ quoth Lucien, pushing on boldly. 

The lady did look, however, and laughed expressively. The 
very same evening, fifty people knew that Victor and Lucien had 
been seen carrying a basket of cherries across the Pont des Arts. 

Clarisse for some time imagined that the young men were going- 
out of their way for her sake, and several times begged them not 
to do so. When, however, she learned that they, too, were bound 
for the steamer, she was rather vexed at what had happened, 
and felt the necessity of looking a little demure. Suppose any of 
the people of Le Buisson should see her arrive thus accompanied ; 
the many tongues of slander would be at once in motion. c Gen- 
tlemen/ said she, when they reached the Place de Y Hotel de 
Ville — * I thank you ; but — really — you must give me my basket 
now. I am afraid' 

c Of being compromised by our company/ said Victor laughing. 

c You are quite right. We should do credit to no one.' 

Lucien said nothing ; but they gave up the basket, and Clarisse, 
10 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

with the ingratitude of prudence, hurriedly thanked them, and 
proceeded towards the boat, looking" back for fear they should 
press too closely on her heels. 

■ Lucien/ said Victor, checking" his friend for a moment, i I 
propose that we should fall in love with that girl. 7 

c Confound your propositions ! ' was the reply. 

They went on board just as the last bell was ringing, and were 
rather hurt that Clarisse, instead of looking- in a friendly manner 
towards them, perseveringly stared at the towers of Notre Dame. 
They did not know that Jacques Gogo, the cobbler of Le Buisson, 
famous in the commune for his drunkenness and evil tongue, was 
on board, and had already tried to be recognised by Clarisse, and 
was standing a few feet from her with a pipe in his mouth, 
waiting to catch her eye, and make some stupid jokes about her 
and Joseph. 

IY. 

Paris is a fine city; take it all in all, the finest in the world. 
We make the admission, partly from the abundance of our convic- 
tion, partly because our neighbours expect us to say something of 
that kind when writing of their capital. From the deck of the 
steamer, as it moved slowly off from the landing-place, dropping 
down before the paddles began to turn, the line of public and 
private buildings on either hand, the towers, the steeples, the 
facades, the long vistas of arches that span the river, especially on 
the occasion which we are now describing, when the sky was 
intensely blue, and the water rippled merrily in the brigiit light of 
noon — all this, we say, formed a splendid scene, but would not, 
perhaps, have appeared so beautiful to Victor and Lucien, had 
there not been near at hand, sitting on one of the benches, with her 
basket of cherries at her feet, a young girl, whose presence excited 
— faintly, it is true — at that moment in both their breasts those 
sentiments which, while they are astir, give us faith in ourselves, 
hope in the future, and a benignant belief in the reality and utility 
of all the things in this world. 

Joseph was an idiot ! He, too, might have felt all these delicious 

sentiments in the presence of Clarisse had he chosen ; but he never 

was really in her presence : half his mind was always absent, 

busy in the sordid cares of life, or dwelling on gross pleasures or 

vulgar amusements, past or to come. He never g*ot a distinct 

view of the lovely girl at all. There was a haze before his eyes, 

through which he saw a slender bright-cheeked girl, who had 

come up to Paris to remind him of his promise to marry her. 

He saw nothing more. The purity of that ivory brow, the calm 

lustre of those blue eyes, the patient pensiveness of those lips, 

from which the bloom of maidenhood had never been swept — all 

this had no meaning for him : he understood not a whit of such 

things. Perhaps Lucien and Victor, one or both, understood too 

11 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

much. They were not exactly in love with Clarisse : at any- 
rate, if you had told them so, they would have laug*hed to 
side-splitting at the idea ; but we should like to know why they 
stood like two fools who had nothing 1 to say for themselves, look- 
ing* at the trim little foot that was tapping- the deck with nervous 
impatience, perhaps in vexation that they perseveringry kept 
aloof; and why did they both feel an inclination to throw Jacques 
Gogo over the side of the vessel, because, tired of waiting" for 
notice, he at length put his black heavy hand on his pretty neigh- 
bour's shoulder, and said with a seif-satisned chuckle : f How 
proud we are this morning" ! ? 

We shall never tire of repeating 1 it : human nature is a 
mystery. Clarisse, who had tried to cut the cobbler, suddenly 
fell to talking 1 volubly with him, and for want of more handy 
topics, joined in scandalising* some of the folks of her village. 
There was a vicious rapidity in her remarks which astonished 
even M. Gogo, and induced him, when there was a solution 
of continuity in her gossip, to throw in the exclamation : i How 
wonderfully Paris has improved you, to be sure ! 7 We dive 
without scruple into the hearts of such popinjays as Victor and 
Lucien : we know what they are made of. They are men. But 
we do not venture to give a positive opinion as to what was 
passing in poor Clarisse 7 s mind : besides, we are afraid of exposing 
her to the vengeance of her sex, which has laid down certain 
laws that cannot be transgressed with impunity. If we were 
forced to give an explanation of her eloquence, we should say that 
it was the horrid and abominable feeling of vexation, that because 
she had turned away her two assistants for the sake of public 
opinion, and because she had thought proper to look demure until 
the Isle St Louis was passed, they should therefore refrain from 
addressing her with the indifference of strangers. However, we are 
quite sure that a scornful glance which she cast in their direction 
meant : I hope they do not expect me to speak to them first. 

But she did speak to them, or they would never have taken 
courage to address her. The steamer from Montereau came 
glancing under the bridge of Alfort : she knew everything about 
it, but started up with sham curiosity, and accidentally found her- 
self standing between the two friends, shading her eyes with her 
hands, looking intently at the passing boat, and saying" : ' I wonder 
where it comes from '( ■ 

Victor did not know, but supposed it came from some place 

up the river, to which Lucien assented, not wishing to crush 

his companion under his superior geographical information. 

Clarisse did not care a sou, but having thus broken the ice, went 

on chatting with her two new acquaintances, and felt all the 

happiness which country girls and others feel when they bask in 

the admiration of two handsome young men. The events of the 

last two or three days had entirely dislodged from her heart the 

affection that had filled it for so long, or rather had left it without 
12 






THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

an object; for, in reality, at her age love is an impression not at 
all corresponding to the object that excites it. Natural philoso- 
phers warn us very carefully, if we would have correct ideas of 
things, not to suppose that the heat which we experience when 
we approach a fire is in the fire itself, instead of within ourselves. 
The lire is a heap of a dirty black substance which throws off 
a kind of motion, which is changed into what we call heat by the 
chemistry of our senses. In Clarisse, love was a pleasant glow 
round the heart, and Joseph was the heap of coals that excited 
it ; but she lost not the warmth because she withdrew from its 
cause. 

We hope, since this seems to express what we mean, that it is 
not nonsense. However, it must not be supposed that Clarisse had 
suddenly fallen in love with one or both of her new friends ; not 
at all : as yet, they had only struck her imagination. She saw 
they were gentlemen. Their manners were pleasant ; their con- 
versation was agreeable ; and, above all, without paying- any 
compliments, they caused it to be understood, beyond all possibility 
of doubt, that they considered her, Clarisse Claudet, as the prettiest 
girl they had ever seen. How was it possible that she should not 
feel happy in their company ? 

One thing only mingled feelings of pain with her pleasure : 
the young men said that they had started from Paris with the 
intention of going a great way off — to Melun, Montereau, or 
beyond. Now, Le Buisson is not very far past Corbeil ; and 
therefore, although the steamer laboured up slowly against the 
current, it was certain that before very long she should be put 
into a boat with that horrid Jacques Gogo, and obliged to leave 
her new friends for ever. For ever ! there is no word so dreadful 
as this to the young, who would not part, if they could help it, 
with any casual acquaintance who' had given them half an hour's 
pleasure. As we grow older we learn that for ever, which seemed 
so dreadful before, is the commonest phrase in the vocabulary of 
human life. Currents that divide seldom meet ag-ain until thev 
mingle in the ocean. For ever ! the time has passed ! — nearly two 
hours of charming conversation about the weather — about the 
fields on the banks — about the children coming down to paddle in 
the sunny waters — about. the reeds bending with the stream — about 
those fine ladies that whirled over the bridge in the open caleche 
on some party of pleasure — about the birds that skimmed along- 
over the eddies — about Paris, which they were leaving behind — its 
pleasures, its beauties, its dangers — about the quiet little village 
that lay a league off from the river, at the end of the second lane 
that turned off from the road beyond the park of the Chateau of 
Beaurepas — Clarisse was wonderfully particular in giving this 
direction — about the good old people who were waiting- with such 
anxiety her return. ' My poor parents, it will grieve them much. 7 
What! had any accident happened? had there been a loss, a 
death ? No ; 'twas something they did not understand — and she 

13 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

blushed. Lucien and Victor felt jealous, and pressed her with 
questions. She kept her own counsel, however, and continued 
chatting" pleasantly, though a dismal feeling" was gradually creep- 
ing over her heart, until the man at the prow began to swing the 
great bell that announces the approach to a station, and gives 
warning 1 to the ferry-boat to come out. Was it the horrid sound 
that overwhelmed their voices, and reduced them to silence because 
they could not hear one another 1 Perhaps ; but it is certain that 
when the clang of the bell was over, they all remained looking 
sadly down until the paddles ceased to move. The rope was flung 
out, and the boat swung alongside upon the disturbed waters. 
Jacques Gogo seized the basket of cherries, handed it to the ferry- 
man, and then officiously hurried away Clarisse, scarcely giving" 
her time to say adieu to the two young men. She saw them run 
back towards the rudder to have a last look at her, and could not 
help waving her hand and crying, with an attempt at a smile, 
* Adieu! 7 but she added sorrowfully in her heart, 'for ever, 7 and 
sat down in the boat; and when it reached the bank, could not be 
induced to move until the funnel of the steamer, that still pursued 
its way, disappeared in a bend of the river, and the long plume of 
smoke that waved above it was dispersed in the sky by the breeze. 



V. 

Jacques Gogo was delighted to have a companion in his walk, 
and insisted on carrying the basket. As they stepped along, he 
tried to renew the conversation in the same tone in which he had 
begun it on leaving' Paris ; but Clarisse was in a different mood. 
She had nothing evil to say against any one ; thought that most 
people did their best in this world ; and that, if they did not, it 
was no business of ours. Jacques was annoyed. His mind was 
in a permanent state of petty hostility towards his neighbours. 
He did not relish the benign philosophy of his pretty companion — 
could not enter into it ; thought it was our duty to criticise evil- 
doers, as a warning to others ; for his part, believed that most 
persons were bad, if one only knew it — even the charitable gave 
alms with questionable intentions; knew that the cure had an 
object in his piety — could tell two or three curious stories about 
him. Clarisse shewed no inclination to listen to them. They 
relapsed into silence ; and whilst she was weaving all sorts of 
agreeable fancies, in which sometimes one handsome face and 
sometimes another appeared, M. Gogo, who by this time thought 
the basket very heavy, began to analyse her conduct very severely. 
He did not like her familiarity with those two bourgeois in dis- 
guise : there might be more under it than was seen at first sig'ht. 
He should like to know how Clarisse had spent her time in Paris. 
Por his part, had his advice been asked, he would not have allowed 
her to go up to town alone. These meditations, as we shall see, 

14 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

bore fruit. Jacques Gog*o was destined materially to influence 
the future happiness of Clarisse. 

At length they turned up the lane, and the young- girl, who 
felt as if she had returned from a long journey, climbed through a 
break in the hedge to have an early view of the village, which lay 
at the foot of a hill thickly clad with trees, on the edge of a little 
plain. Out to the right was the beet-root field, traversed by the 
elm-tree row ; a narrow stream, bordered by willows, came sweeping 
round it, and crossed the lane at the bottom of a little hollow. 
Clarisse jumped lightly from stepping-stone to stepping-stone, and 
ungratefully leaving Gogo behind with the basket, ran along until 
she came to the first house in the village. It was fronted by a 
little garden, closed by a wattle-gate, the string of which would 
not by any means come undone. Her hand actually trembled ; but a 
decent looking woman, well browned by the sun, darted out, and 
presently Clarisse was sobbing in her mother's arms, just for all 
the world as if she had been to the other end of Europe. 

' What is the matter, child 1 ' said Dame Claudet. 

Her daughter related, in rather a convulsive manner, and with 
more emphasis, perhaps, than was necessary, the ill-treatment of 
Joseph; and wound up by a very emphatic declaration, that all 
the king's horses, and all the king's men, should not drag her to 
church to marry him. 

i Child ! child ! ' quoth her mother, i who ever talked of forcing 
you?' 

At this moment Gogo came in, and slapped the basket down on 
the floor, and declared that he never was so thirsty in his life. 
Dame Claudet thought it incumbent upon her to offer him a glass 
of wine : whilst he drank it, he joined in the conversation, and 
contrived to say, with a very significant look, that it was lucky 
that Clarisse had been so prudently brought up. The heads of 
many other girls would have been turned by the fine speeches of 
those two young fellows, who never left her side on board the 
steamer. There was Claudine, who was made love to for an hour 
hj a lawyer's clerk, on the road to Corbeil, and every one knew 
what had become of her. 

'Who compares my daughter to Claudine?' said old Claudet, 
coming in from the field rather in an ill-humour, for he had had a 
quarrel with a neighbour about half a yard of land on the boundary 
of their fields. 

Dame Claudet, who almost feared that her daughter had com- 
mitted some indiscretion, tried to turn off the conversation, promis- 
ing herself to take a better opportunity to get at the truth ; but 
her husband, after roughly kissing Clarisse— so roughly that she 
would have preferred a box on the ear — began to bully Gogo, and 
force him to explain what he meant. 

1 1 was only saying,' quoth the cobbler, rather delighted than other- 
wise at creating mischief, c that Clarisse was right in not attending 
to the soft things said to her by those two vagabonds on board.' 

15 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

1 How do you know them to be vagabonds 2 ' cried the giii 
imprudently, her eyes flashing*. ' They were very well-behaved 
people, which is more than I can say for you, Monsieur Jacques 
Gog-o.' 

Jacques said : ' Your servant ! ? gravely took off his cap, and 
walked away chuckling* to himself. The old farmer gave a long 
whistle, and looked from his wife, who had become very pale, to his 
daughter, who had grown very red. His ill-temper had almost 
passed, but he remained uneasy and suspicious. Checking an 
impulse to scold, he sat down and said quietly : ' Well, daughter, 
what have you to say about Joseph 1 ' 

It was destined that everything should be in its wrong place 
that day. Clarisse should have answered indifferently, and 
explained at a future period : instead of so doing, however, she 
came out with an indignant burst ; and with eloquence until then 
perfectly unknown at Le Buisson, described the way in which she 
had been received by her affianced — how he had scarcely con- 
descended to pass an hour with her — how his conversation was 
coarse and vulgar, and how his manners were totally destitute of 
all polish and distinction. These last words were most unfortu- 
nately chosen, for old Claudet, who knew that he himself was a 
rough customer, not endowed with the least elegance of mind or 
appearance — he had been told so by some impertinent Parisian — 
immediately fired up, and asked her where she had learned to 
look upon herself as a line lady — and when she had learned to 
despise the uncouth but virtuous — there was an emphasis on this 
word — habits of her fellow- villagers. 

Joseph, he said, was an honest, hard-working fellow, who might 
have no time to talk of ribbons and rags with a foolish girl, one 
who preferred looking after his business, but who would place his 
wife in a respectable position, and who had a stout arm to cudgel 
any flimsy fops who might dance attendance around her. Old 
Claudet had had some experience of the worst part of Paris life ; 
had sown his wild oats there, and looked upon everybody who 
did not wear a blouse, and sabots, and sport a coloured cravat on 
Sunday, as a monster of iniquity. 

c I tell you what, my girl,' he said, getting warm, and thumping 
the table with his fist — 1 1 see how matters are going — some 
counter-jumper has crept into your ear. I must have him out. 
Joseph is to be your husband — mind that. No blubbering* — it 
won't do. Wife, teach your daughter her duty.' So saying, he 
got up, and without listening to any remonstrances, walked out a 
few steps ; then coming back, and putting' his head in through the 
door, he added in a terrible voice : * I shall write to Joseph to-day, 
to know what all this means.' He then immediately went to a 
neighbour's house, got some pens and paper, and spent a couple of 
hours in laboriously scrawling a dozen lines. By this time, however, 
he had become a little more calm, and had reflected that his wife's 
turn had now come. He was not absolute master m his household, 

16 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

although, when his passions were up, they gave way to him. ' It 
will be better/ thought he, thrusting the letter into his pocket, from 
which it never again appeared in a legible state — ' it will be better 
to talk this matter over with the mother.' 

Meanwhile, Clarisse had opened her heart to her mother ; 
although, in reality, she had very little to say. It was quite true 
that she had talked with some gentlemen on board the steamer, 
and that she had mentally compared their manners with those of 
Joseph. ' But/ said she, c I never saw them before, and I shall 
never see them again — never.' By degrees, she related exactly 
how they had offered her assistance in carrying her basket. 

Dame Claudet looked grave, and anxiously asked if Gog-o knew 
anything about that. Being positively assured of the contrary, 
she breathed more freely, and even laughed, saying : ' Is this, then, 
the whole of your terrible adventure 1 ? 

f That is all/ said Clarisse with a deep sigh. 

Next day, the family had resumed the ordinary round of its 
occupations. Claudet having been well lectured for his roughness, 
agreed to put off communicating with Joseph for a little while, 
just to see what time would do. The effect, however, of Clarisse's 
magnificent present of cherries was entirely lost ; nobody knows 
when they were eaten, or whether they were eaten at all ; though 
some have said that the finest were picked out and preserved in a 
glass bottle in brandy, under a pretence of winter consumption, 
but that the said bottle has never yet been opened. 

We positively deny, however, that Clarisse was in love : she 
was only rendered a little sad by the memory of her meeting with 
Victor and Lucien ; and as she had entirely driven the thought of 
Joseph out of her mind, when she did indulge in visions of the 
future, when she did represent herself, as maidens will whatever 
we may say of it, as wooed by a gay cavalier, the said cavalier 
would obstinately assume something of the appearance of one of 
the two young gentlemen who had traversed her life on their way 
to Montereau. It w as not her fault ; because she tried with all 
the might of her imagination to invent a fanciful set of features. 
She had not got sufficient creative power, that was all. Besides, 
she heroically placed the hero of her thoughts on a level in society 
with her, and represented him to herself as a kind of romantic, 
sentimental-looking farmer, holding the plough with delicate white 
hands, and yet turning up much finer furrows than all his neigh- 
bours. Having* settled these details to her satisfaction, she went 
dreamily on through her household duties ; and her parents noticed 
no change, except that the house was a little more silent than of 
yore, when her heart, that was full of youthful joy, used to over- 
Bow in melody ; when she used to chirp as she bustled from room 
to room, and throw out snatches of song even when she went 
forth with her apron full of grain to feed the poultry in the yard. 
This change, which they felt without understanding, made them a 
little uneasy. They were aware that there was a stranger under 

17 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

their roof, a being" of diviner order than they were accustomed to. 
They did not like it. We hard men, broken into a round of daily 
habits, would look askance if an angelic host were to visit us. 
We do not know how to entertain such messengers ; we have 
nothing* g*ood enough for them. Pass on, and go to the next 
village ; they are more hospitable there ; and at anyrate, we shall 
not be disturbed. It was well for Clarisse that the nature of her 
thoughts, the unreasonable elevation of her hopes, remained so 
long a secret. She would not have been forgiven for indulging in 
such golden dreams; and her comrades would have pelted her 
with sarcasms, as if she had been hesitating on the limits of sin — 
happy if they had driven her into it. We do not mean to say that 
there was nothing wrong in Clarisse's ambition, ana that the 
instinct of the peasantry which would have led them to condemn 
her, serves no useful purpose. Her ambition was wrong, because 
there was no plausible hope of its fruition, and because its presence 
weakened the activity with which she attended to her duties, 
and made her withdraw her sympathies from without her, to 
concentrate them upon the inhabitants of her ideal land. 

Meanwhile, Victor and Lucien continued their ascending 
voyage ; and after some apparently indifferent talk about Clarisse, 
turned to other topics. When they were in the beautiful reaches 
that precede Melun, they began to observe how strangely matters 
had been misrepresented to them. The banks of the Seine were not 
half so fine as below Corbeil. There was the lovely country ; here 
they could only see very ordinary hillocks covered with trees and 
ugly houses. ' This is mere prejudice, young gentlemen/ said a 
respectable individual, who no doubt lived in that neighbourhood ; 
1 all artists agree 7 

i We are not artists/ said Victor, nipping the discussion in the 
bud by an impertinent look. 

The respectable individual walked to the other side of the deck, 
muttering that they were probably school-boys — an imputation 
which, in their state of mind, might have led to a quarrel if they 
had heard it. 

They stopped at Melun for the night, and saw no beauty in its 
island that mimics the cite of Paris, nor in its cathedral, nor in 
anything of which that town is most proud. The dinner at the 
hotel seemed detestable, and the beds were as hard as iron — at 
least this was the reason they gave one another for not sleeping 
all night. They occupied a double-bedded room, and kept up a 
chorus of sighs and groans, all laid to the charge of the unfortu- 
nate mattresses and bolsters. It is' true that they had eaten about 
Jive times as much as they ordinarily did in Paris ; but neither 
would confess this, because they felt too sentimental. It was the 
quality, not the quantity they complained of. Next morning, 
they demolished a mighty breakfast, and discussed whether they 
should not go back at once ; but they feared the ridicule of their 
friends, to whom thev had anuounced their intention of making 

18 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

great discoveries, and remembered also the encounter with 
Madame Beaumont. 

f If that ugly old woman really saw us/ said Lucien — every- 
thing appeared ugly to him now — i we shall be hailed as fruiterers 
wherever we go. That absurd affair must be allowed to blow 
over. 7 

'You think we acted absurdly, then? 7 quoth Victor, looking 
sideways at his companion. 

Lucien did not answer, for he was actually thinking of Clarisse, 
and wondering whether he should ever see her again. But why 
should he not think of her, until something more beautiful met his 
eye 1 If the path of life is bordered with weeds, and one gorgeous 
flower hangs nodding over it, perfuming the passage, why not 
linger by it awhile, and why not turn back and look at it until it 
fades out of sight 1 Will it ever become invisible 1 That is the 
question. It rises and brightens as it recedes. Shall we go back 
and pluck it 1 There is no going back in this life. The happiness 
we disdain flies at once out of reach, and the like is not to be 
found again. Something in this way must Lucien have specu- 
lated ; for Victor was obliged to take him by the collar, and shake 
him, saying : 6 We shall miss the steamer for Fontainebleau.* 

c What matter ? 7 inquired Lucien, who, however, went on board 
as if mechanically. We do not narrowly observe ourselves, but 
half our actions in this life are merely the continuation of an 
impulse previously given, which it would require a mighty effort 
to check. Lucien had so resolutely determined to go on to Mon- 
tereau, that, though something within him cried out at every step 
that a better field of exploration — the human heart — was awaiting- 
him, he could not listen. 

The two friends went to Fontainebleau, strayed through the 
palace, which appeared to them very dismal, sneered at the park, 
and severely criticised the embellishments of the forest. By tacit 
consent, they had for two whole days refrained from speaking of 
Clarisse, and were inclined to avoid each other 7 s society. But at 
last they fell to talking of her, and once more became inseparable. 
What merry donkey-rides they might have with her through the 
woods ! How cheerful her voice would sound under the trees ! 
How frightened she would have been in the Brigand 7 s Cave! 
Yet how confiding in their strength and courage ! They spoke of 
her as a sort of ideal being ; and if they did not invest her with 
beauty she did not possess, at anyrate brought themselves to a 
perfect appreciation of every feature. Yet these two sham sceptics 
would, from time to time, overwhelm the poor girl with sarcasms 
that cut their hearts, not hers ; and pretended all along that they 
regarded her as a mere country grisette. 

And so they proceeded on their journey, which had now become 
pleasant again ; but if there were any discoveries to make, ethno- 
graphical or geographical, they forgot altogether to inquire. 
Their constant companion was the absent Clarisse, though of this, 

19 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

perhaps, they were to a certain extent unaware. However, their 
visit to the upper country lasted not so long- as they intended. 
Both at length began to look back, not quite so far as Paris ; and 
one day, instead of carrying out a plan they had made of an 
excursion into Burgundy, they stepped on board the steamer, 
trying to persuade themselves that they did not know exactly 
where they should stop. 

VI. 

Some ten days after her return from Paris, Clarisse went out 
towards evening to walk alone in the meadows and indulge in her 
fancies. She thought that she had at length entirely ruined the 
pretensions of Joseph, by insisting on what he had said with refe- 
rence to her dowry, and believed, therefore, that the world was all 
before her wherein to choose a lover after her own heart. The 
elm-tree row was deserted, and she came without meeting a soul 
to a little bridge, formed of two rough planks thrown over the 
stream beyond. There was a perfect hush over the country. In 
the west, between a long line of poplars, she could see the sun 
going down, amidst a gorgeous flush, towards the horizon. It is 
setting* over Paris, she thought, and its pinnacles are now encircled 
by glory. In a short time the bright colours faded, and the light 
became gray as she went along the margin of the stream, watching 
its gentle flow, but not thinking of it, for her mind was busy with 
the future. Suddenly, as she accidentally raised her eyes, she saw 
a tall slight figure coming towards her, and felt an impulse to run 
away. She had at once recognised Victor, who had in his turn 
perceived her, and was coming rapidly up. They met a moment 
afterwards, and saluted one another with more ease, because the 
light was dim, and if any emotion was marked upon their faces, 
it could with difficulty be noticed. 

c But where is he — the other, I mean ? ' inquired Clarisse. 

The question was almost a revelation to herself, and somewhat 
dashed the pleasure of Victor. 'The other is Lucien/ said he. 
? I do not know where he is — that is to say, I left him an hour 
ago at the Chateau of Beaurepas, where we have met with some 
friends. He did not choose to walk as far as Le Buisson.' 

He had scarcely uttered these words when Lucien himself was 
seen coming along on the other side of the stream. He started 
on observing Victor tete-a-tete with Clarisse, and made as if he 
would go away ; then suddenly changing his intention, he took 
a vigorous leap, and alighted on the opposite bank, just in time 
to hear a slight exclamation, expressive of fear, at his rashness. 

It is an old saying, that two are company, but three are not. 

Instead of the animated conversation that might have been 

expected, there never was a duller interview. The three young 

people walked slowly back towards the bridge, exchanging only 

a few awkward phrases. Clarisse was perhaps more alarmed than 
20 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

pleased. All her visions vanished for a time, and there remained 
only this feeling* — that she was standing' between two friends who 
might become enemies on her account. When she had set her 
foot on the plank across the stream, she said : i I must bid you 
good-night now, my friends. I am very glad to see you both. I 
hear that we are almost neighbours. You must both come often 
to Le Buisson.' Then she remembered her father's prejudices, and 
the serpent tongue of the cobbler, and was obliged to add : i I some- 
times walk in this meadow, or in the field beyond, in the evening.' 
Then, influenced by her fear, she took both their hands, as if to 
shake them ; but instead of doing so, placed one within the other, 
and running away, arrived breathless at her father's house. Five 
minutes afterwards, Jacques Gogo, who, as ill-luck would have it, 
had been strolling along near the poplars, entered the cabaret of 
the village, and related, with many imaginative flourishes, how 
Clarisse Claudet had given rendezvous to two Parisians in the 
meadow. 

When Victor and Lucien were left alone, the former made as if 
he would withdraw his hand ; but the latter grasped it firmly, 
and said : 6 There is no longer any necessity for concealment. 
When we went on to Montereau, I did not think that girl had 
left any deep impression upon either of us. We talked, how- 
ever, of nothing but her all the way ; and on coming back, both 
did violence to our pride in rescraping acquaintance with old 
Cabet of the Chateau. Not a month ago, we cut him in the Hue 
Vivienne, and declared his vulgarity insufferable ; and now we 
have actually gone hat in hand to him, and been polite to his wife, 
and condescended to amuse his hoggish acquaintances, in order to 
get an invitation to pass a week with him, and have an excuse for 
stopping- in this neighbourhood. Really this is paltry conduct.' 

' Speak for yourself, Lucien/ said Yictor, at length disengaging 
his hand. i I never said that Monsieur Cabet was vulgar. I 
never despised his acquaintance; and in your place, if I had 
done so \ 

c You would have gone on to Paris, leaving the field clear at 
Le Buisson/ said Lucien smiling rather ironically. Then he 
added : i Let this pass. It is no matter what we think of Monsieur 
Cabet; but why did you leave the chateau under pretence of 
going to the river-side, whilst all along you meant to come here 1 y 

i And why, pray, are you here 1 ' 

c I never said I would not come.' 

Both the young men were full of anger. They walked away 

towards the road in silence : a slight accident would have led to 

an open quarrel — perhaps a struggle ; and Yictor did once look 

from the vantage of his height upon Lucien, and wonder to find 

a rival in a little fellow whom he thought he could crush with 

a blow. However, the feeling of friendship at length got the 

upper hand ; and when they had walked about a mile, they found 

themselves arm in arm. 

21 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

I My dear fellow/ said Lucien, before they reached the chateau, 
6 we cannot both be successful, and one is in the way of the other. 
I will leave the field clear for you, if you will distinctly say what 
are your intentions. 7 

I I have none/ said Victor, who, in truth, was obeying* his 
impressions without any attempt at reasoning, and who was no 
more capable of laying* out a plan of conduct, and governing* it by 
principle, than he was of exploring- the river Amazon, about which 
he so often talked. However, one good movement stirred within 
him. He felt a vague conviction that it was not he that occupied 
the girl's thought, and he was on the point of confessing as much 
to Lucien, when a short fat gentleman, wearing a cap with an 
enormous peak, came down the road towards them. 

' Here you are at length/ he exclaimed, in a tone half-hospitable, 
half-authoritative. 'We have been awfully dull. We do not 
know how to amuse ourselves. We haven't laug-hed since you 
went out. The ladies are getting quite sulky.' 

Lucien and Victor remembered that they were only admitted 
as guests at the chateau on condition of being very funny, and as 
they went up the alley of the park, cast about in their memories 
for half-a-dozen old jokes and anecdotes, to dispose of in the course 
of the evening. Although these two young men had been friends 
for some time, their tastes and habits were in many respects diffe- 
rent. Victor had led a rather dissipated life, to console himself, 
probably, for the postponement of his geogTaphical researches; 
Lucien, on the other hand, was called a Puritan by most of his 
companions. The one, therefore, though deeply impressed by the 
beauty and graces of Clarisse, was disposed to seek her society 
without thinking of consequences ; whilst the other, ever since he 
had seen her, had undergone a constant mental struggle, because 
he remembered all about Caroline Cauchard, and knew that his 
parents would be disposed to put their veto upon his marriage with 
the daughter of a little country farmer. Their own origin was 
anything but aristocratic ; yet they were not absurdly wrong in 
believing that their son, having received a first-rate education, 
would run risks of unhappiness by uniting himself with a person 
differently brought up. They might have applied this principle to 
Mademoiselle Caroline herself, but they had no rules by which to 
judge of instruction; and as the young lady could play several 
tunes on a piano, could sing a German song bristling with con- 
sonants, was perfect in crochet-work, and sublime in the Polka, 
they thought her to be all-accomplished. However, Lucien knew 
that his influence was sufficiently great over the minds of his 
parents, to induce them to release him from the engagement they 
had entered into in his name, if he made a strong appeal. 
The only question in his mind was, whether he was entitled to do 
so, whether the gratitude he owed for their extraordinary care — 
they had both devoted the best years of their life to him — did not 

bind him to accept their decision. Hitherto, he had fought off 
22 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

from a marriage with Caroline, who was not displeasing" to him 7 
rather from caprice and a vague love of independence, than from 
any other reason. Had any real affection occupied his heart, he 
would not have hesitated at once to declare it. Was the sentiment 
he felt towards Clarisse of this nature ? Would it stand the test of 
time ? Was it not rather one of those fancies in which romantic 
people will sometimes indulge, and which could and ought to 
be shaken off? He was not able to decide upon this point at 
once, and regretted that the rivalry of his friend, Victor Moreau, 
left him no time for calm thought. What he feared was, that if he 
went away to Paris, according to his first impulse, the poor girl, 
whose imagination he saw was violently excited, would fall a 
victim to the selfish passion of Victor ; whilst, on the other hand, 
if he remained to watch over her, he might not only be led into a 
deadly quarrel, but might be betrayed into engaging himself much 
further than he thought it prudent to do. He distrusted himself, 
and retired to rest that night in a state of perplexing uncertainty. 
He felt that he was too young to undertake the office of disinte- 
rested champion of a young girl, so beautiful and so simple, 
especially when the danger came from a friend. c No ! ? exclaimed 
he, clenching his fist, and shaking it at the ceiling, some three or 
four hours after he got into bed : 6 No ! I protest, I swear L I don't 
think I am in love with Clarisse ; but yet, if Victor were to injure 
her, I should certainly shoot him.' Having made this very 
definite declaration, he tried to go to sleep, but remained tossing 
uneasily about, until he perceived some pale light coming in 
between the curtains of the window, and until the room bright- 
ened, and until, in fact, some rays of dim gold broke in and played 
on the opposite wall. c Now/ said he, ' is the time for a walk to 
Le Buisson ; ? but he had scarcely uttered the words, when he fell 
under the anathema of all true sentimentalists. The fact is, he 
turned upon his pillow, and went fast asleep, and dreamed that he 
was going to church to be married to Clarisse ; that the ceremony 
was performed with great pomp ; that his parents looked delighted ; 
that the people murmured with approbation ; but that just as he 
turned to look with admiration and love upon his bride, her coun- 
tenance suddenly changed, and the chubby cheeks of Caroline 
Cauchard appeared before him. Leaving him to protest against 
this substitution, which he did with many blows of his fist upon the 
pillow, and many uneasy kicks, we shall see what happened during 
this ill-timed slumber. 

■i 
VII. 

Victor Moreau went to hed as early as Lucien, and having 
regaled his fancy a little with the thoughts of Clarisse, fell asleep 
at once. To have seen him quietly outstretched, amusing the 
darkness with a gentle tune, one would have imagined his con- 
science to be as pure as that of a child. Indeed, the idea of wrong ? 

23 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

in this affair at least, had not entered his mind, for, as we have 
said, he had entirely abstained from thinking-, and allowed himself 
to be led by his impressions. He got up at dawn, fresh as a lark, 
shaved carefully, put on a clean collar, took a peep at Lucien's 
window, and rejoiced to see the curtains drawn. Then he went 
down stairs, awoke the porter, went out, and strolled over the 
country, feeling- like a just man bound on a message of charity. 
He soon reached the environs of the village of Le Buisson, 
and the first hint he got that he was doing- wrong- was, that 
instead of boldly entering- the street, where he saw a few peasants 
already in motion, he sneaked round by the banks of the stream, 
and climbed a lofty bank near the row of poplars, where he stood 
gazing about, endeavouring to look indifferent, like an artist study- 
ing scenery. He did not know which was the house belonging' to 
Clarisse's family, and therefore kept running- his eyes indifferently 
from one end of the village to the other. 

Now, it happened that Clarisse, who had probably not slept at 
all that night, was looking out of the window, and saw him from 
a distance standing on the bank, against the gray background of 
the sky. He was too far off for her to distinguish his form or 
features, but she felt certain — and this rather damages the theory 
of love presentiments — that it was Lucien. She accordingly went 
gently down, and was in the open air before she quite under- 
stood what she was about. Her heart seemed to swell within her 
breast, and carry her forward against her will, whilst her reason 
told her that she was acting imprudently. What explanation 
could she give to herself, what to her parents, what to Lucien, of 
the step she was taking? Was not her conduct that of a bold 
forward girl, who was running with her eyes open to destruction ? 
Possibly she would have returned to her room, or remained in the 
garden — at least we hope so — had she not remembered a promise 
she had made two or three days ago, and neglected to accomplish, 
to visit Widow Mathurine, who lived in a lonely cottage more 
than half a league off, and was kept within doors by illness. 

c I must go and see the poor woman/ said she. So off she 
tripped, taking a path that led diagonally across the beet-root field 
to another bridge, some two hundred yards up the stream. The 
tall figure was still upon the bank, and it was impossible to pass 
without being seen. That was not her fault. She went briskly 
along, and when she got into some fields out of sight of the 
village, the exclamation she uttered was one of real surprise and 
# vexation. Victor Moreau, and not Lucien, came towards her. 
The young man, who had come the clay before with ideas of easy 
conquest, was now aware of the difficulty that lay in his way. 
He knew that he had not only to strike the imagination of the 
village-girl, but to dislodge his friend. He determined to behave 
cautiously, and after the first salutations, walked along by Clarisse's 
side, and expressed surprise at not meeting- Lucien. 

6 1 supposed/ he said, i that he would be out this way also/ 

24 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

'Why should he come V replied she, piqued : 'there is nothing 1 
to attract him here. Our country is not pretty, and there are fine 
ladies at the chateau, whose company is agreeable.' 

' You see I do not care for them, Clarisse/ said Victor with a 
sigh. 

i You like morning*- walks, monsieur/ quoth she, emphasising* 
the last word, knowing* well that, according to the French con- 
ventional rules of intercourse, this would throw him back an 
immeasurable distance from the point to which he wished to come. 
Accordingly, when he addressed her next, he took care not to use 
her name, but to call her mademoiselle. 

Having come to this understanding, they walked along talking*, 
Clarisse doing her best to obtain information about Lucien with- 
out appearing to do so, and Victor pretending to be very expansive, 
and ungenerously depreciating his friend. By this manoeuvre he 
lost nearly all the advantage he had gained by his early rising*, 
for although Clarisse easily believed that Lucien was a rake, she 
included Victor in the mistrust which this idea excited. He who 
tells us unpleasant truths about people we like, and contrives to 
convince us, generally comes in for a full half of our animosity. 
We are not learned in love-matters, but we believe it to be an 
axiom, that one rival can oust another more easily by praise than 
by blame. Women like even the appearance of generosity, and 
are less influenced by the etymological meaning of the words they 
hear, than by the sentiments which in some mysterious electrical 
manner are infused into their minds along with them. We were 
once in danger of seeing a buxom widow fall into our arms, 
because, from sordid motives, we spoke enthusiastically of a 
gentleman on whom we supposed she had fixed her affections. 

When the young friends reached the neighbourhood of Dame 
Mathurine's cottage, Victor stopped behind in a field, and thus, 
against Clarisse's better judgment, gave a character of secrecy to 
their interview. She was very uneasy while she stayed, and her 
consolations could scarcely have been effectual. On her return, 
Victor joined her with a look of intelligence. She felt that there 
was something wrong in all this. The fields and paths were be- 
ginning to fill with people : some faces which she knew passed and 
turned to stare with stupid inquisitiveness at her and her companion. 
This determined her to act in a straightforward manner. 

6 Monsieur Victor/ said she, with a consciousness of innocence 
which she would not perhaps have felt if Lucien had been there — ■ 
6 1 think you had better walk home with me to the farm/ 

1 But what will your father say V said Victor, looking myste- 
riously at her. 

' I will tell him/ replied she, raising her eyes candidly to him, 
* that you are one of the gentlemen who helped me to carry my 
basket of cherries, and whom I have met in the fields. 7 

' The deuce take her ! ■ thought Victor ; i she is as cold as a fish. 
What a pretty figure I shall cut when introduced to old Pere 

25 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

Claudet ! They will take me for an escaped school-boy, looking* 
out for romance under hedges. I shall be obliged to treat the old 
fellow to brandy all day long ; and afterwards, if I exhibit the least 
familiarity with Clarisse, shall get thrashed out of the village with 
flails. The girl is well enough, but her family must be horrid. ? 

He walked along in silence for some time, and Clarisse on her 
part began to think of Lucien, and forgot all about the danger of 
scandal. Suddenly, on coming to a bend in the lane, she found 
herself face to face wdth her father and Joseph. 

i What do you say to that ? 7 cried the latter. i Am I a fool, and 
is Gogo a liar? 7 

His face was flushed red, and he looked at Victor with as much 
fury as if he had been really attached to Clarisse. But his real 
feeling was the old hatred between town and country — the detes- 
tation by the sabot of the patent-leather boot. If any farmer had 
married Clarisse during his absence, he would have been rather 
grateful to him than otherwise, or, at anyrate, his wounded self- 
love— for there was no other sentiment in play — would have evapo- 
rated over a bottle of wine. But to find his affianced, whom he 
had reserved for himself, to turn off or not as he thought fit, exert- 
ing her independence by taking a morning-walk with a Parisian 
dandy, as he called him — this was too bad. He beg-an to square 
up to Victor, who, on his part, was taken so aback, that he became 
white and red by turns, and would probably have allowed himself 
to have been knocked down, had not old Claudet said with some 
dignity of manner : c Joseph, there must be no fighting about my 
daughter. 7 

Clarisse had been a little startled at first ; but she soon recovered 
her presence of mind, and tried to tell the whole truth. But 
things had been said of which she knew nothing ; and her father, 
after authoritatively forbidding Victor to follow, took her by the 
arm, which he squeezed until she almost screamed from pain, and 
led her towards the village. During the silent walk that followed, 
she had leisure to reflect on the prodigious importance to a young 
girl like her of the inconsiderate step she had taken. She felt that 
her reputation was destroyed for ever at Le Buisson, for the name 
of Jacques Gogo had not been pronounced in vain ; and she was 
not now to learn that when once scandal meddles with the purest, 
it is almost impossible to destroy its effect ; for scandal never 
attacks openly, and deliberately avoids explanations. It is trans- 
mitted not by words only, but by looks, by shrugs, by gestures, 
even by silence ; and the world, which is so hard to be convinced 
of virtue, meets an accusation of evil half-way. It rarely hap- 
pens that a young girl stumbles without the catastrophe having' 
been foreseen and foretold long before by half-a-dozen wise 
neighbours. 

Joseph had come to Le Buisson the night before ; but instead of 
going to see the Claudets, he had passed from his mother's house 
to the cabaret, intending- to be jovial with his old comrades. Here 

26 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

he met with Gogo in an advanced state of intoxication, and heard, 
amidst the suppressed grins of all present, that Clarisse had been 
seen not once, not twice, but every evening, walking 1 after dark 
with a Parisian. This news at first met with his incredulity, but 
he was at length persuaded, and got up to go and make a scene, 
as he expressed it, at the farmhouse. But, during" the discussion, 
he had drunk glass upon glass of brandy, and, instead of finding 
the door, staggered to a bench, and snored sufficiently late not to 
come in time to prevent Clarisse from committing herself. When 
he did come in and tell his story, with a savage scowl, Dame 
Claudet called him a monster, and repeated, with various orna- 
ments which her indignation suggested, all she had heard from 
Clarisse of his behaviour in Paris. 

? The best way/ said the farmer, e will be to let the girl speak 
for herself.' 

They went, and found her room empty, and saw that the bed 
had not been disturbed. They now became seriously alarmed, 
fancying that their daughter had run away, or committed some 
other desperate action. Suddenly Dame Claudet remembered her 
daughter's intention of going to visit Widow Mathurine, and, 
laughing at her own fears, said : ' Why, what fools we are ! the 
hussy has been up before dawn, and made her bed, and gone to 
see the good old lady. There has been rain in the night ; see if 
the marks of her little feet are not on the path yonder ! ' 

Joseph and Claudet looked, and finding that this was the case, 
went slowly in that direction ; whilst the mother, quite at ease in 
her mind, set about her household duties, singing, with a voice that 
was no longer true, but which sufficed to express the cheerfulness 
that had gushed back upon her mind, after a moment of doubt and 
agony. She was putting on the milk to boil for breakfast, when 
there was a noise, almost a struggle, at the door, and her daughter, 
with face convulsed and bathed in tears, was pushed or rather 
thrown towards her, and fell at her knees, which she grasped for 
protection. Claudet and Joseph stood looking in with countenances 
in which shame and angler were curiously mixed. The scene was 
one for a painter whose pencil loves to deal with the heart-rending 
tragedies of humble life, where natural sentiments are expressed by 
gestures and attitudes, which, in more polished society, are often 
entirely suppressed. 

VIII. 

6 What are you doing to my daughter 1 ' cried Dame Claudet, 
turning fiercely towards her husband. 

Then came overwhelming accusations, the chief facts of which 
Clarisse did not attempt to deny. All she could do was to sob out 
that she was a virtuous girl, and those who said the contrary were 
slanderers. 

' Meaning me,' shouted her father, raising his hand. 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

e No ! ' she cried, turning' her face towards him, but instinctively 
sheltering herself in her mother's arms. i No ! — but that man ! — 
that man ! ' pointing" at Joseph, who was looking gloomily at her. 

The most remarkable feature in this scene is, that neither of the 
accusers believed to the full extent what he said. The anger of 
old Claudet, especially, was directed more against what might 
have been than what he thoug-ht was ; for, after a short silence, 
he said, what he would not otherwise have thought of saying- : 
c Well, girl, if what you tell us be true, will you marry Joseph, 
and let us forget all 1 ' 

Joseph, on the other hand, instead of indignantly rejecting this 
idea, looked inquiringly at Clarisse, for, strange to say, now that 
he had become perfectly convinced of the difficulties that lay in 
the way of his marriage, perhaps, because he was more than ever 
convinced of the purity of the girl, possibly because she had never 
seemed so beautiful as she did at that moment, with her face full 
of scorn and animation — a good deal, no doubt, from the mere desire 
to overcome opposition — no, it is not at all strange, for human 
nature is so made, that Joseph should now wait with anxiety for 
the reply to this overture. 

The reply was not long in coming*. Clarisse's spirit was now 
up, and she distinctly stated, that rather than submit to what was 
proposed, she would go and seek for service in Paris. This was 
not exactly what she meant, but, by some fatality, which she could 
scarcely account for herself, she was led to use the vulgar threat 
which is the last resort of disobedient daughters in the provinces. 
Scarcely had she uttered the words, when she felt the breast, 
against which she leaned grow cold towards her. Her mother's 
arms no longer clasped her tightly, but slowly loosened, and thrust 
her away. There she stood in the centre of the room for a time, 
detached from all the sympathies amidst which she had grown up. 
She seemed obliged, now that she had taken one step in rebellion, 
to g*o on. The words of repentance that flew to her lips died 
away before she could utter them. A look of defiance, which she 
felt to be a mask, but which she could not tear off, covered her 
face. The influence of traditions of this kind is terrible. As soon 
as she had uttered the phrase which usually translates a whole 
preconceived plan of escape from beneath the paternal roof, she 
seemed to become a different being. She repeated, almost against 
her will, the attitude and the gesture which she had seen assumed 
many years before, when she was a mere child, by Claudine, when 
she announced to her family, who lived next door, that she was 
going to Paris to support herself by her own exertions. 

There was silence in the room. Clarisse pressed her hands to 
her forehead for a moment, and listened with her whole being to 
catch the first syllable of the word that should call her back to her 
mother's breast, that should break up the fountain of her tears, 
that should relieve her from this terrible nightmare, which seemed 
to surround her and change her appearance, like the rough bark 

28 






THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

that crept round the limbs of the nymph when she grew into a 
tree. Could it be true, that for one hasty phrase she should be 
cast off for ever 1 She had been so accustomed to be won back 
from her wayward moods by kindness, that this severity seemed 
cruel and uncalled for. It never occurred to her that it was her 
duty to speak first, to recall what she had said, to explain it 
away, to fall on her knees if necessary, and beg pardon of her 
parents for thus wantonly menacing* them with a flight, which, 
according to their ideas, would lead her to a position worse than 
death. She looked up : there was nothing but stern cold faces 
around. Obeying, as it were, some invisible hand that pushed 
her onward, she moved towards the door, and wild emotions 
rushing through her heart, forgot to turn back, or she would 
have seen her mother fall senseless on the floor, her father 
take off his cap, and, casting his eyes up to heaven, murmur a 
prayer with quivering lips, and even Joseph lean his head against 
the wall to hide what was passing in his countenance. This is a 
scene that takes place in substance every day in the French 
provinces ; and this is the way in which Paris is supplied with 
beauty and with vice. 

Clarisse no longer knew what she was doing, or whether she 
was going. Passion for a time had suspended the action of her 
reason. She went out of the house at first with a vague feeling 
that some one would run after her, and take her back by force ; 
but peasants never divine the secrets of such feelings as hers : 
they wait for a catastrophe, and then embalm the victim in legend 
or in song, and weep over her untimely fate, without ever learning' 
to profit by experience. The girl went on ; no one saw her. She 
herself seemed no longer mistress of her motions ; but she ran 
instinctively, as it were, towards the meadow where the poplars 
grew. Perhaps her foot slipped, as she incautiously passed along 
the plank ; at anyrate, there was a fall, a splash ; the stream had 
been swollen by the rain during the night, and went along whirling 
giddily over some deep holes beneath the willows that grew on the 
bank. A scream was heard, and two white arms glanced twice 
above the hurrying current. The second time, Clarisse managed 
to get hold of a bough that trailed along the surface of the stream. 
It broke, but it had done good service : it had kept her afloat for 
a moment, and saved her life, for suddenly a strong hand was 
stretched out, and Lucien, swinging from the trunk of the willow, 
grasped her waist, and brought her safely to shore. There were 
two or three witnesses to this scene, and all idea of suicide was 
avoided, because it was reported that, before she lost consciousness, 
she lifted up her eyes in thanksgiving. Let us not endeavour to 
penetrate the mystery further, for Clarisse herself never remem- 
bered what had taken place between the time when she left the 
house and that at which she opened her eyes and found herself 
nestling in her own warm bed, and saw her father walking softly 
across the room, and heard her mother saying, i Hush ! ? under her 

29 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

breath. By all this, she understood that she was an invalid. But 
what were the causes of her illness she did not know, although, if 
we examine very closely into the matter, there may have been a 
half-consciousness — for she never inquired. 

After what had taken place, Joseph perceived that it would be 
prudent to withdraw his pretensions altogether, and, returning- to 
Paris, soon forgot the affianced of his youth, and resumed his 
old manner of life. The last time he has been seen, to our 
knowledge, was at the Chateau Bouge, his favourite place of 
resort, where he was executing a frenzied cavalier seal before 
Mademoiselle Papillon. He seemed to have lost the greater part 
of his rusticity, and to have become, in fact, quite an accomplished 
villain ; at least, this was the term applied to him by his partner 
when, after executing a pirouette worthy of a Huron or an opera- 
dancer, he returned to claim her hand. 

Having thus disposed of this gentleman, we shall turn to more 
interesting personages, and, in the first place, we must explain how 
it was that Lucien came up just at the nick of time, for all the 
world like a hero of romance. Victor was returning, feeling very 
sheepish, towards the chateau, when he met his friend coming 
hastily along, trying to make up for his excess of sleep by excess 
of speed. He was soon made acquainted with what had taken 
place, and Victor finished off by saying, quite in a virtuous mood 
of mind : i I think it a pity to spoil the girl's reputation, and shall 
be off to Paris at once. Besides, it is now really time to prepare 
for the exploration ? 

' First let me explain to Clarisse's parents the whole truth of 
what has happened/ interrupted Lucien, turning his back very 
cavalierly on his friend, and walking rapidly towards Le Buisson. 
As he advanced, he cast a rapid glance over the past and into the 
future, examined and discarded with contempt certain doctrines 
and prejudices in which money and station are placed above beauty 
and goodness, and completely made up his mind as to the course 
of conduct it was proper to pursue. He came in sight of the 
bridge of planks just as Clarisse was crossing it, so that he saw 
exactly what occurred, and acted, as we have seen, with prudence 
and vigour. 

When he arrived at the farm, helping to carry the unconscious 
Clarisse, he was received as the saviour of the family, for several 
boys had run ahead, and related how he had dived three times 
before he succeeded in fishing up the drowning girl. 

Victor carried out his intention of returning to Paris ; but 
Lucien wrote to his parents, relating what had happened, and 
hinting that he might very shortly put their love and indulgence 
to a severe test. They came down, without his knowledge, to 
reconnoitre ; but he soon encountered his worthy mother bustling 
mysteriously about the village, making inquiries into the character 
and position of Clarisse and her family. She had set down the 
results of her investigations in a little ivory note-book ; of which 

30 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

Lucien took possession, and found written therein : * Poor — pos- 
sessed of three cows — pretty — not a drunkard — has only this 
child — decently educated — good character — respected by the neigh- 
bours. 7 The good lady had trusted to her memory to know to 
which parties these several notes applied. Luckily, she had not 
fallen in with Jacques Gogo, and when she was induced, with a 
manner in which curiosity and condescension were singularly 
mixed, to be introduced to the Claudets, she was rather disposed 
than otherwise to look upon them with favour. Clarisse seemed 
so pretty and gentle as she sat in the invalid-chair which her 
mother had procured for her, that she won Madame Artenay's 
heart at once. It is true that Lucien, in the way to the house, 
had torn a few hairs out of his head, and had declared that though 
he was the most obedient of sons, he must either marry Clarisse 
or set out immediately for the North Pole. Thus prepared and 
influenced somewhat by the tender glance which the sick girl 
furtively cast upon her son, Madame Artenay went right over 
into the enemy's camp ; and when her husband, who, on his 
part, had been calling on the maire of the place, came in, she was 
quite prepared, in case any opposition was offered, to pronounce a 
splendid tirade on the absurdity of controlling the affections of 
young people. But as M. Artenay only looked benign and 
bewildered, she contented herself with whispering : 6 Alfred, if 
anybody had attempted to keep us asunder, wouldn't we have 
shaken the world to pieces ? ' 

The matter was not settled there and then, as in a melodrama, 
where there is always a notary behind the scenes, ready at a 
moment's notice to be called in with a small round table and a pen 
in his ear to draw up a contract of marriage. However, some 
little progress in the negotiation was made. Old Claudet and his 
wife shewed a proper degree of dignity and hesitation, because it was 
necessary to keep up the honour of the country as against the town, 
and M. Artenay was once so disgusted, that he said to his son : 
• Don't you think you could find a prettier girl than that after all 1 ' 
But, in truth, this must have been a mere joke, because he came every 
day from the country-house where he had taken up his abode, and 
was never happy until he had patted Clarisse upon the cheek, and 
given her a large box of do?ibons, a packet of gloves, a brooch, or 
some other knickknack of that kind. At length the legal gentle- 
men were called in, and matters then went on very fast, for the 
Claudets did not stipulate many things ; and whatever they did 
stipulate, was conceded by the impatient Lucien. By the time 
these formalities were concluded, Clarisse had bloomed again into a 
perfect marvel of beauty ; and when in her plain white dress, with 
the crown of orange-blossom on her head, she stepped into the 
carriage that was to drive her to the little old church half-way up 
the slope of the hill, there was a loud burst of admiration amongst 
the crowd of spectators. We cannot find a comparison for her; 
peaches and rosebuds, and pearls and angels, all that has been 

31 



THE BASKET OF CHERRIES. 

used up. She was like — if we must say what she was like — the 
maiden whom you, young* reader of twenty, have imagined in your 
purest dreams. Having* said so much, we suppose it is necessary 
to add, that Lucien was the very beau-ideal of a bridegToom. Even 
Jacques Gogo opened his eyes in wondering approbation when he 
saw this fine couple standing- side by side under the consecrating* 
scarf. Be sure that there were splendid rejoicings that evening at 
the country-house, to which Clarisse was carried home in triumph. 
All the lads and all the girls of the village danced in the courtyard, 
and their elders became gioriously merry over the good wine that 
was served out in abundance. Victor Moreau was not present at 
these rejoicings ; but he and his young wife — for he has since 
married — have lately been called upon to stand as godfather and 
godmother to a tremendous little fellow, whom Clarisse declares to 
be, without exception, the handsomest babe ever born in this world. 
We ought to add that Victor, whenever he has a little tiff with his 
Marie, invariably talks of setting out on a voyage up the Amazon 
river. 





CHIVALRY AMONG THE ARABS. 




HE northern skirting* of tlie great African 
desert, hitherto, somewhat incorrectly, marked 
'on our maps as the Beled-el-Jerid, or date-country, 
is a region of sandy plains, covered for the most, 
part with coarse scanty grass, a few ligneous 
plants, and dry shrubs. Here and there are 
furrows, in which the water collects after the rains 
of winter, forming" the temporary streams called 
'wads, which give birth to numerous oases. These 
fertile spots are favourable to the cultivation of the date, 
which is their staple, though by no means their only pro- 
j^duction, and hence the whole country has derived its name. 
Two races, differing widely both in